Africa’s unusual and unused competitive advantage

Africa exports more raw materials than anywhere else in the world. However, according to the OECD, regarding industries higher up the value chain its countries "currently do not have a competitive advantage in any… sectors.” Andrew and Ndubuisi beg to differ, and discuss what they consider to be Africa’s powerful, proven and unorthodox global competitive advantage, which the continent is not leveraging.

Africa exports proportionally more primary products than any other region in the world according to the OECD, and stated in their March 2020 report titled ‘How Africa can move up the value chain’. However, despite its prevalence at the bottom of the value chain, with respect to its abilities at the top of the value chain, the OECD stated that ”African countries currently do not have a competitive advantage in any… sectors.”

Could this explain why Ghana sells cocoa but not chocolate? And, could it mean states will be unable to participate in, and gain the higher margins of, an increasingly brands-oriented global economy? Or, are the OECD and many other macroeconomists thinking one-dimensionally?

Andrew and Ndubuisi discuss what they consider to be Africa’s powerful and proven global competitive advantage in this episode, and how it could and should be leveraged to give African companies a presence at the top of the value chain.

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