Don't Miss

Agric Devt: World Bank Tasks Nigeria, Others

By on April 14, 2011

Managing Director of the World Bank , Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala , has called on Nigeria and other African countries to adopt ideas that would enable the continent fully exploit its rich agricultural potential.

A report from the FSDH Securities Limited made available to THISDAY Wednesday quoted Okonjo-Iweala to have emphasized that innovations and intellectual products in the continent needed to be recognized, protected and better linked to markets.

According to her, without a solid intellectual property rights regime and marketing mechanism, Africa’s inventors cannot receive appropriate recognition and compensation for her work, saying that growth in the emerging economies today was due to increase in total factor productivity and innovation in particular.

“For Africa to claim its place within the emerging economies, it must adopt and invent new ideas and technologies to create value. She submits that the pace of innovation will be a critical component of the African growth story over the next few decades,” the IMF boss said.

She also listed Health, Information Communication and Technology as other areas that Africa needed to pay attention to.

“With the growing demand for food crops from emerging markets, agriculture has significant added growth potentials,” she added.

Okonjo-Iweala also pointed out that a $1 increase in agricultural value-added generates a $1.3 -$1.8 increase in the rural non-farm economy.

She explained: “Overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth originating in agriculture is two to four times more effective in reducing poverty than growth generated outside agriculture. However, Africa lags behind on the adoption and use of technology for farming. It needs to improve its product, process, organizational and marketing strategy in the agriculture sector. Africa has to innovate by adopting new technologies, using new seed varieties and improving the organizational structure of the sector.

“The continent also needs to develop new ways of marketing its products. On health, she regrets to note that Africa accounts for about 11 percent of the world’s population but only consumes less than 1 percent of global health expenditure, and it produces even less of the world’s medicines and other medical instruments. With the right policies and incentives in place to train and retain the right scientists, she said that Africa can produce more of its own medicines. This will create jobs, support growth and save lives.”

Source : Thisday