Nigeriaâ€™s President Goodluck Jonathan and his Malawi counterpart Joyce Banda have bemoaned poor trade between African member states, urging the continent to emulate Europe where countries trade more among themselves.
Â The two presidents said this at the Bingu International Conference Centre in Malawiâ€™s capital, Lilongwe, during a Malawi-Nigeria business forum where local businessmen shared business opportunities with their Nigerian counterparts. Jonathan is in Malawi on a two-day visit.
Â Said Jonathan: Â â€œIn Africa, intra-Africa trade is low and often times, the limitation is transportation. For you to move your goods from one country to another, you go through Europe because of transport problems within. We must reverse this.â€
Â He called upon African countries to â€œwalk togetherâ€ by ensuring that they first trade more among themselves than other continents.
Â The Nigerian president also urged Malawi and other African countries to provide an enabling business environment to the private sector which, he said, is the engine for propelling trade and economic growth.
Banda, in a brief statement, stressed that African needs home-grown solutions through intra-trade and investment.
Â The Malawi president said Africa is rich natural resources which need to be fully exploited before adding value for exportation.
Â â€œMalawi is coming from a difficult economic situation and we need a big economic partner like Nigeria to help Malawi economy stabilise quickly,â€ said President Banda.
Following Jonathanâ€™s visit, Malawi and Nigeria have signed two agreements; Economic and Technical Agreement and Technical Manpower Assistance.