LETTERS: Bring down barriers to intra-Africa trade

The best way to boost intra-African trade is to bring down all the walls the colonial powers erected between African countries and which African governments have maintained or even reinforced since their countries’ nominal independence.
Traders on Rwanda-DR Congo border of Rubavu, which has reportedly seen an increase in cross-border business operations in recent past. / File.
Traders on Rwanda-DR Congo border of Rubavu, which has reportedly seen an increase in cross-border business operations in recent past. / File.

Editor,

RE: “Global African investment summit should push for closer trade ties” (The New Times, September 6).

 

The best way to boost intra-African trade is to bring down all the walls the colonial powers erected between African countries and which African governments have maintained or even reinforced since their countries’ nominal independence.

 

Don’t Africans have any shame that it is far easier for non-Africans than their fellow Africans to travel across Africa?

 

What kind of Pan-Africanists are we? Do Africans think that their fellow Africans are likely to be more crime-prone as visitors than non-Africans, or have we internalised the inferiority drilled into us so much by our colonisers that we have come to reject those who look like we do when we look at the mirror?

For make no mistake; by the extraordinary barriers the majority of African governments erect against visitors from other African countries are as pathologically psychological as their consequences are costly to our mutual interest by suppressing greater interaction among African peoples as well as intra-African exchange in goods and services.

Without such an increase in intra-African exchange we shall naturally remain yoked, as peripheral subsidiary appendages of sources of raw materials and captive markets for processed goods and services, primarily from the ‘former’ metropolitan (colonial) powers whose enterprises have a chokehold on our natural resources and markets even as their cultures continue to dominate our thinking and choices.

Mwene Kalinda

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