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Intra-Africa trade boosted by launch of $1 bln promotion programme

The African Export-Import Bank and the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa have launched a  $1 billion trade and investment programme expected to boost business between South Africa and the rest of the continent.

The programme will help address the need for African countries to work closely together in addressing the challenges of fragmented markets, under-developed production structures and inadequate economic diversification, the deputy director general of trade at the department of trade and investment Lerato Mataboge said at the launch on Tuesday.

"Our aim as a government is to increase the levels of South African investments in the rest of the continent through targeted support measures," Mataboge said.

"We have targeted $100 billion of investments to be reached in the next five years and we want to ensure a sizable amount of investments into South Africa that are of African origin."

She said market integration, infrastructure development and industrialisation were a must, in order to achieve intra-Africa trade and investment.

"The removal of tariffs and trade barriers to entry between our countries is important, however without the requisite logistical infrastructure to move goods amongst ourselves, and without regional value-chains, we will not increase the levels of intra-Africa trade and investment,” said Mataboge.