Kenyan official says vibrant private sector crucial to economic growth in Africa

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DAR ES SALAAM, July 11 (Xinhua) -- A Kenyan senior official has underscored the importance of a vibrant private sector in promoting economic growth at the national, regional and continental levels in Africa, said the East African Community (EAC), an intergovernmental organization of seven countries, in a statement.

The statement issued by the EAC headquarters in Tanzania's northern city of Arusha on Monday said the observation was made by Rebecca Miano, Kenya's cabinet secretary for EAC and arid and semi-arid lands, in her keynote address during the opening session of the 14th African Union High Level Private Sector Forum in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

Miano said the private sector accounted for 80 percent of Africa's total production, two-thirds of investment, and three-quarters of credit in addition to employing 90 percent of the continent's working-age population.

She said a robust private sector is indispensable to the realization of Africa's sustainable and economic transformation.

"The success of Africa's economic integration is premised on the role of the private sector in achieving growth objectives of Africa's economies, and by extension, creating greater wealth and expanding employment opportunities," said Miano.

She urged African regional economic communities, including the EAC, to upscale investment in agricultural and extractive industries through value addition to expanding the potential of both value chains.

"Regional value chains are essential for promoting intra-African trade, economic integration, and industrial development. They offer opportunities for countries to leverage their comparative advantages, enhance productivity, create jobs, and increase their share of value-added activities within the global economy," she said.

Miano said the collaboration of regional value chains in Africa will open up domestic markets, achieve economies of scale and improve competitiveness in the global market arena.

The EAC member states are Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda. Enditem

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