As an African leader to be, I identify proper management of natural resources as an opportunity or rather the best approach to promote African intra-trade which will, in turn, unlock agricultural potential in the entire African continent. Rapid urbanization is indeed taking place all over Africa although most African countries still endure numerous challenges like adverse climate change which hinder agricultural potential. Depending on the situation, climate changes can have either positive or negative effects on the environment, people and agriculture. As a leader in a bustling African metropolis, I have to approach this situation in an innovative way to ensure that climate change challenges are solved through appropriate management of natural resources. Generally, adverse climate changes in African countries have caused havoc and hunger since time immemorial and this situation is yet to change. Mismanagement of natural resources has greatly limited the potential of agricultural sectors in various economies entirely in Africa which has prompted global inter-trade while crippling African intra-trade. The African continent is globally ranked top for its great heritage in natural resources and I am a firm believer that if these resources are utilized appropriately, vision 2030 would be a real deal and not farfetched. Climate change challenge which is a great impediment to agricultural potential is as a result of Africa not conserving its natural resources like forests which are water catchment areas and trees which help attract rain. Harsh climatic conditions which at times cause either drought or floods in Africa will be prevented if natural resources are not abused for selfish gain but instead well managed by respective authorities to sustain African intra-trade. Cartels and corruption which are major threats to Africa's agricultural economy make management and sustainability of natural resources difficult. I recognize efforts by African leaders to boost African intra-trade. For instance, “In March 2018, African countries signed the African Continental Free Area Agreement (AfCFTA) which is a commitment by African countries to remove tariffs on ninety percent of goods, liberalize trade in services and address a host of another non-tariff barrier. If successfully implemented, the agreement will create a single African market with not only enormous financial potential but also the enormous agricultural potential of over a billion consumers with a total GDP of over $3 trillion. This will make Africa the largest free trade area in the world” (Songwe, 2019). This is a good move, although much needs to be done. My Innovative approach would be, centralization of the management of natural resources and agriculture i.e. from the country level to continental level as this would be the true basis of reviving and promoting African intra-trade. For example, the African Union could consider establishing a body and formulating policies to govern natural resources in entire Africa as this would ensure sustainability. I, therefore, conclude that natural resources must be well managed and preserved in order to tackle agricultural challenges in Africa, promote African intra-trade and unlock agricultural potential in the continent. REFERENCES Songwe, V. (2019, January 19). Intra-African trade: A path to economic diversification and inclusion. Brookings. Retrieved from https://www.brookings.edu/research/intra-african-trade-a-path-to-economic-diversification-and-inclusion/
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