Africa to become new global supply chain force
Africa can become a major participant in global supply chains by harnessing the vast resources needed by high-tech and their own growing consumer markets, notes a new UNCTAD report.
"This is Africa's moment to bolster its position in global supply chains as diversification efforts continue," UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan said.
Africa's abundance of critical minerals and metals, including aluminum, cobalt, copper, lithium and manganese, vital components in technology-intensive industries.
Africa also offers advantages such as shorter and simpler access to primary inputs, a younger, technology-aware, and adaptable labour force and a burgeoning middle class.
Deeper integration into global supply chains would also diversify African economies, boosting their resilience to future shocks.
Seventeen African countries, including Angola, Botswana, Ghana and South Africa, have already implemented local content regulations to support the growth of local supply chains.
The report says African small and medium-sized enterprises need more supply chain finance, which bridges the payment time gap between buyers and sellers.
According to the report, the value of the African supply chain finance market rose by 40% between 2021 and 2022, reaching $41 billion. But this is not enough.
UNCTAD also underlines the need for debt relief to offer African countries fiscal space to invest in strengthening their supply chains.
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