How inter-parliamentary synergies can sustain Africa – Kalu

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, Tuesday, said for Africa to overcome global economic challenges, the continent needs to reduce dependency on the global north, utilise foreign exchange judiciously, and implement robust industrial policies.

To achieve this, he said the continent should ride on the crest of the current global economic volatility to attain the inherent economic sovereignty.

Kalu stated this in Abuja while delivering a paper on ‘Parliamentary Spotlight,’ at the 2024 Africa Economic Summit, themed: “Africa: Riding the Crest of Global Economic and Political Volatility.”

Represented by the house spokesperson, Hon. Akin Rotimi Jr, the deputy speaker stated that the parliamentary spotlight explores how African nations, through their parliaments, can craft legislative solutions to navigate the current global complexities.

“Countries reliant on imports from the global North face significant pressure to acquire large amounts of foreign currency to finance these imports. This often necessitates focusing on producing exports for Western markets or accruing external debt. However, the disparity in value between African exports and Western goods results in substantial net transfers of goods from Africa to the West (Europe & North America).

“This dynamic urgently needs to be addressed. This pattern of dependency on material and technical resources is further exacerbated by the “transfer problem,” where African countries must continually earn foreign currency to facilitate these transactions.

“Our parliaments can curb this by diversification of exports and trading partners: Enact policies to invest in domestic industries, promoting the export of higher-value manufactured goods, legislate for trade agreements with emerging economies in Latin America, and South-East Asia for fairer trade terms, negotiate favorable loan terms with international lenders and financial institutions through legislative advocacy,” he said.