Sub-Saharan Africa
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How to Decrease Africa's Reliance on Foreign Aid?

© AFP 2023 SIMON MAINADelegates attend the 5th mid-year coordination meeting of the African Union, at the United Nations (UN) offices in Gigiri, Nairobi, on July 16, 2023
Delegates attend the 5th mid-year coordination meeting of the African Union, at the United Nations (UN) offices in Gigiri, Nairobi, on July 16, 2023 - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 21.07.2023
In order to promote intra-African commerce and strengthen the continent's independence and its positions on the world market, the African Union (AU) championed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in 2012, which officially opened for business in 2021. So far, more than 40 countries have ratified it.
Deputy Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament Thomas Tayebwa has urged African leaders to prioritize unrestrained trading among themselves in order to relieve the continent of its need for foreign aid.
Tayebwa made the remarks while participating in talks on the sub-topic of African Continental Free Trade Area operation at the 18th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC) in Cameroon on Wednesday.
He outlined that, despite criticism of neocolonialism from African elites, some African governments have allowed foreign investors to seize possibilities for investment on the continent while undercutting and disregarding locals who have the same capacity.
Tayebwa also stated that trade, particularly intra-African commerce, was the sole tool African nations needed to use to free their continent from the burden of foreign exploitation.
coins and a diagram - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 21.07.2023
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"As Africa, trade not aid will liberate us – and for you to trade, you start with your neighbor. Many governments in Africa introduce investors who come with USD $1 million in investment but later claim investments worth USD $100 million," Tayebwa noted. "When someone of color comes to any African government, he will easily see the president of the country but an African investor will find it difficult because he does not look rich. This is a problem."

According to Tayebwa, travel and unrestricted movement of products and services are necessary to support smooth intra-African commerce.
He voiced worry about the fact that unneeded travel restrictions are still imposed by the African nations, which prevents the continent from being integrated.
"I used over 20 hours to fly from Uganda to Cameroon yet using that same amount of time, I would have gone to Brussels and the Netherlands and back to Uganda. The problem is that in Africa, we look at each other as competitors and not as partners, can we go back to our regional blocs?"
During one of his previous presentations, Tayebwa disclosed that Uganda would host the first carbon-neutral conference on the continent in January 2024.