Regional Integration, Economic Reliance Crucial to Escape from Undue Pressure: Scholar


Addis Ababa, November 20/2021 (ENA) Regional integration and economic self-reliance among African countries could help the continent escape from undue external pressures on Africa, a scholar said.

Addis Ababa University Asian Desk Coordinator at the Centre for African and Oriental Studies, Samuel Teferra told ENA that African countries need to highly engage in achieving economic self-reliance through enhancing integration and escape from undue pressures.

Unless African countries achieve economic freedom, they cannot collaborate and resist any for of pressure and domination, he added.

Samuel stated that foreign powers could influence and impose their interests on developing countries through various instruments, including international financial, political and humanitarian institutions.

Hence, African countries should enhance their bargaining power by strengthening and promoting mutual economic development by integrating themselves through various grand projects like the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, trade and communication.

According to him, Ethiopia has been playing a great role in integrating Africans, starting from supporting decolonization to establishing the Organization of African Unity and trade organizations.

Ethiopia should also take the lead to liberate Africans from economic dependence on others, the scholar stressed.

The country should still continue strengthening its integrating role of Africa for economic freedom by promoting to power, road, and trade infrastructures, among others, to neighboring countries.

Samuel noted that economic self-reliance will result in African unity and help resist undue foreign pressure on the continent.

“What we need to do first is ensure economic self-reliance by realizing grand projects like the GERD in the sense of cooperation. Unless we succeed in doing this, it is difficult to talk about independence while asking for food and financial aid from others,” the scholar underscored.

The continent of Africa is endowed with abundant natural and human resource. However, there are conspiracies that hinder Africans from realizing their economic self-reliance, he noted, adding that Africa has never been blessed with good political leadership that can utilize its natural and human resources to attain development and prosperity.

“Lack of good political leadership is the problem of most African countries. We therefore need  strong political leaders that could solve such challenges and pave the way of collaboration to grow together and realize economic self-reliance.”