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Globalisation may leave Africa worse off

Posted by Business Africa on 2006/02/15 | Views: 554 |

Globalisation may leave Africa worse off


Britain's Foreign Secretary Jack Straw warned on Tuesday in the Nigerian capital Abuja that globalisation could worsen Africa's plight if the continent fails to rise to its challenges.

ABUJA - Britain's Foreign Secretary Jack Straw warned on Tuesday in the Nigerian capital Abuja that globalisation could worsen Africa's plight if the continent fails to rise to its challenges.

"As the world economy becomes more competitive, an Africa which fails to rise to that challenge risks becoming increasingly marginalised," Straw said at a public lecture on African development over the coming decade.

"An uncompetitive Africa will fail to attract investment, fail to diversify away from exports of primary products, fail to compete in terms of productivity and so fail to reduce poverty," he said.

But on a more positive note, the visiting minister said if Africa pursued the right policies and won the full support of the international community, "this continent could be the success story of the 21st century."

Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo was among the guests at the lecture organised to mark the 30th anniversary of the assaissination of the country's former military ruler, General Murtala Muhammed.

Straw offered to help Nigeria overcome rampant corruption, announcing that Britain had ratified a UN convention "which will help us seize illicit and stolen assets and return them more quickly to their countries of origin."

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