‘Intra-African trade, solution to Africa’s turnaround’

BY: Edward Acquah

The solution to Africa’s underdevelopment does not lie in African countries unifying into a bloc but rather their ability to build strong trade relations with one another, an Angolan historian has observed.

Mr Kilamba Neto, a nephew of Angola’s first President, Dr Agostinho Neto, explained that if Africans enforced “better” trade relationships with one another, the exploitation of the continent’s resources for the benefit of other countries would reduce drastically.

He made the remarks in an interview with the Daily Graphic on the sidelines of a ceremony held in Accra to celebrate the life of Dr Agostinho Neto as part of Angola’s National Heroes Day celebrations.

Free movement of goods

Mr Neto said although there were laws governing the free movement of goods and services within some parts of the continent, the rate at which Africans traded with European countries was higher leading to African countries serving as consumers in the global economy.

“The problem with Africa’s development is not for Africans to become a unified state as some Pan Africanists are suggesting.

The unity they are calling for would yield no benefit if African countries do not build a strong economic force with one another.

That is the only way they can defeat the West,” he said.

“The struggle for independence was to show our colonisers that black men were capable of governing themselves.

Some leaders who had won independence assisted others to equally have their independence.

That signified that Africans could defeat the West if they supported one another,” Mr Neto added.

Celebrating heroes

He further observed that most of Africa’s heroes who dedicated their lives to redeeming their countries from colonialism were not offered enough remembrance.

Mr Neto  said  failure on the part of Africans to relive the ideals of its forefathers was a contributory factor to the continent’s woes.

“Today’s generation do not regard the importance of history.

We cannot build a better tomorrow if we do not understand the circumstances that led to where we are now.

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All African leaders who struggled for independence had some critical ideals. We need to learn them and relive them,” he said.


The Angolan Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Estevao Jai, expressed appreciation to Ghana for the role Dr Kwame Nkrumah played in the achievement of Angola’s independence in 1975.

He said that the mutual relationship between Ghana and Angola was historic, adding that his outfit would continue to build a successful relationship between the two countries.

A Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr Charles A. Owiredu, called on foreign nationals in the country to take advantage of the “enabling environment” created by the government and contribute to the growth of the country.

National Heroes Day

Angola’s National Heroes Day is observed on every September 17 to honour Dr Agostinho Neto and all those who lost their lives in the struggle for the independence of Angola.

It is marked with solemn speeches, official ceremonies, patriotic pledges, and the singing of the country’s national anthem.