We must develop the structures we need to create the Africa we want to see. Our wealth in terms of human as well as natural resources should be enough for us to develop the products we need to sustain ourselves. At the moment, most African construction firms buy products from abroad. It’s not that we don’t want to buy from within the continent, it’s because there is a huge communication breakdown that leads us down that path.
The new continental agreement can help us tear down those barriers and maybe we will start to see more intra-African trade than ever before. The lack of standardisation is another problem that we must attack. Our markets are filled with different products that serve the same function which makes quality control difficult. We must standardise so that we can have uniform standards and a way to tell good quality.
We can work faster if we come together instead of each country developing its own set of standards. It will be great to know that you can get your material needs met easily within your region because everybody is utilising the same standards. Uniform standards will make materials available locally; saving us money as well as all the time we lose trying to import foreign parts and materials.