YAOUNDE, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- Central African countries are making progress in their drive to diversify sources of economic growth and improve business environment but need to do more in a bid to withstand shocks due to high external dependence amid a severe COVID-19 outbreak, a senior official of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) told Xinhua on Thursday.
"The economy in Central Africa is not diversified enough, that is why we are worried. We have seen how our countries rely much more on the export of raw materials whenever there is a disruption of global supply in terms of export or import. It raises problem of vulnerability of economy and fluctuation of raw material in global market," Jean Luc Mastaki, Officer in Charge of ECA Sub-regional Office for Central Africa told Xinhua by phone.
Mastaki was speaking after ECA announced the 37th session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Senior Officials and Experts (ICE) for Central Africa, which is scheduled for Brazzaville, Congo, from Dec. 6 to Dec. 10.
The session will review the state of leadership and transformational change in Central Africa, identify gaps and propose to governments and sub-regional bodies practical ways of bolstering the understanding and practice of both interlaced concepts to accelerate economic diversification in the sub-region.
"We are trying to help these countries build strategies which will allow them to diversify their economies away from raw materials and natural resources but also help them to industrialize and add some value to these products. So that not only do they create value locally but also they can rely on products for which prices have a global market a bit stable compared to raw material prices," Mastaki said, stressing that transformational leadership was indispensable to foster development in the sub-region.
"Leadership for us is about implementing the vision, mobilizing the people, mobilizing both private and public sectors towards their implementation and mobilizing innovative resources. We need to reach that level where everybody (in Central Africa) can take a leadership role in promoting industrialization in terms of local contents, local value addition and shared value," he added. Enditem