The ‘absurdity’ of manufacturing in Africa
Monday, March 24, 2014
Africa’s wealth of natural resource reserves make it one of the largest producers and exporters of a number of commodities in the world. For example, the continent produces roughly three-quarters of the world’s platinum and over half of the world’s diamonds.
Despite this wealth of resources, very little value is added to these commodities on the continent, with the large majority of its raw materials being exported to the international market.
Edward George, head of soft commodities research at Ecobank, told an audience at the Africa Trade Finance Week in Cape Town this week that despite producing 70% of the world’s cocoa, three-quarters of West Africa’s cocoa crop is exported raw to Europe and Asia where it is processed into cocoa products and chocolate.