South Africa seeks to bolster trade investments with West Africa

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Seasonal farm labourers pick tomatoes on a farm in the Boland region of the Cape Province. These tomatoes were destined to go to a canning factory to be made into tinned tomatoes. These workers are part of the so-called coloured or mixed race community in South Africa who often feel left out of the political process in the country. | Location: Mcgregor, South Africa. (Photo by Gideon Mendel/Corbis via Getty Images)
Seasonal farm labourers pick tomatoes on a farm in the Boland region of the Cape Province, South Africa. (Photo by Gideon Mendel/Corbis via Getty Images)

With the economy still in the doldrums, the South African government on Tuesday said it planned to increase bilateral trade and investments between West African countries such as Ghana and Nigeria.

Officials from Department of Trade and Industry would travel with 40 local businesses in agriculture, infrastructure, mining and pharmaceutical to explore investments deals in the two countries next week.

“This mission provides an ideal platform to South African companies seeing to explore trade and investment opportunities in Ghana and Nigeria,” said Nomalungelo Gina, Deputy Minister of Department of Trade and Industry.

With the African Continental Free Trade Agreement having been signed by a number of countries in the continent, the trip was part of strengthening intra-African trade.

“The mission is also part of South Africa’s economic strategy for Africa, which is premised on the development integration approach focusing on advancing the priorities for Africa as set out in the country’s Re-imagined Industrialisation Strategy, and the Integrated National Export Strategy (INES),” she said.

“This would be good in terms of boosting the economy in Sub-Saharan Africa. There’s so much that African businesses can explore in the continent.” Jannie Rossouw, head of School of Economic and Business Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand, told Xinhua.

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