Unlocking Africa's Trade Potential: Opportunities for growth and development, by Okonjo-Iweala


During an interview with Channels Television, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), highlighted the persistent stagnation of Africa's global trade share at approximately 3% or lower. 

Despite this challenge, she pointed out promising opportunities for growth and development within the continent. Okonjo-Iweala specifically underscored Nigeria's potential to elevate the quality of its agricultural exports, focusing on products like cowpea and sesame. 

By enhancing these sectors, Nigeria could potentially unlock billions of dollars in revenue, thereby significantly bolstering the country's economic prospects. Furthermore, the WTO chief reiterated the organization's unwavering commitment to collaborating with Nigeria and other African nations to capitalize on these opportunities for mutual benefit and sustainable growth.

She said, “Africa’s share of world trade has stagnated at about 3% or less for many years but there are opportunities to improve that including in Nigeria. Let me start with Nigeria. Nigeria does have many opportunities to diversify its economy and its revenue source.

“And we are here at the WTO because there is an opportunity to help the country increase its export of agriculture exports. And the honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment asked for help; how can we improve the quality of agriculture product like cowpeas and sesame, where we stand to gain not millions but billions of dollars if we can meet the quality and certification standards by those who demand them from us?”

Okonjo-Iweala said the WTO is able to train Nigerian farmers to triple the nation’s income on these farm produce.
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