South Africa, Nigeria can complement each other, grow economies together, Trade Minister
With South Africa's know-how and experience in infrastructure development projects including the energy sector, and Nigeria's opportunities in different parts of the chain-value especially in generation, transmission and distribution, both countries can complement and learn from each other in order to grow their economies together.
This was said by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms. Nomalungelo Gina. She speaking after cutting the ribbon to mark the opening of the South African National Pavillion at the Future Energy Nigeria, WAPIC Conference and Expo 2019. Gina was accompanied by the South African Consul-General in Lagos, Mr Darkey Africa.
The pavillion houses business representatives of South African companies and industry associations funded by the Department of Trade and Industry ( the dti ) that are showcasing their products and services. The products that the companies are showcasing over the period of two days include prepaid electricity meters, power electric cables, generators, and natural gas genset packages.
Gina said South Africa's attendance of the expo was a commitment to economic, trade and investment cooperation with Nigeria. She added that there was no way that both countries could not have good trade relations. She emphasized that as both have big economies and with South Africa's know-how and experience in infrastructure development projects including energy sector and Nigeria's opportunities in different parts of the chain-value especially in generation, transmission and distribution, both countries can build, complement and learn from each other and grow their economies together.
She added that the South African government was appreciative of Nigeria for opening up and sharing the opportunities in the energy sector with its businesspeople.
“The Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has laid a foundation for both our countries and the continent at large to increase intra-African trade that has been historically low. "We must take advantage of it and increase trade with each other, grow our economies and create much needed employment for our people especially youth and women," said Gina.
The South African Consul-General in Lagos, Mr Darkey Africa, said access to energy must grow in Africa. He added that by 2030 Africa will have the largest workforce and energy therefore will be central to make sure people are able to participate in the economy. Against this backdrop, Mr Africa said it was important for Africa to work together to increase access to energy else it will have minimal development.
“We need collective action around energy. We believe that through participation in the expo and conference, we will be able to learn from countries like India present here and we are hoping that we will ensure that we have sustainable electricity provision which is affordable, inclusive and which is secured because without energy security our developmental needs and goals will never be with.
Conveying the message of support to South African businesspeople, the Director of the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce, Dr. ir. Ubong King said both South Africa and Nigeria were the biggest economies in Africa and their partnership could not be underestimated. South Africa's expertise and Nigeria's opportunities must be matched to benefit both economies. The added that with 1.6 billion people in Africa, energy is a serious requirement and needs for everyone to play their part.