With a Population of over 1 billion people, and with One sixth of the

world’s arable land, Africa is one of the richest and most endowed continents

on earth. However fragmentation along national borders into 54 states that are

not integrated has created small markets with different systems and

conflicting policies on matters of common interest to the continent thus

marginalizing Africa in global affairs.

 Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in the world. Opportunity to

further enhance the growth by increasing average growth rates to above 7%

of GDP to ensure substantial reduction in poverty and to achieve the rapid

structural transformation necessary to create prosperity and a better life for

all Africa’s peoples.

 Africa is responsible for a significant proportion of its developing

finance, as more than $527.3 billion comes from domestic taxes compared to

$73.7 billion received in private flows and 51.4 billion in official development

assistance (NEPAD and ECA, 2014).

 The economic value of the Blue Economy for Africa is estimated at over one

trillion US Dollars, with hundreds of thousands of job opportunities for young

African women and men. However not more than 1% of seafarers and just

1.8% of ships globally are African owned, whereas over 90% of Africa’s

imports and exports are conducted by sea.

 The volume of intra-African trade has increased from $32 billion in 2000

to $130 billion in 2011; with increased diversification in manufactured goods,

intra-African trade has huge potential trade to support Africa’s

industrialization and structural transformation.