Arusha. Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economy, is keen on increased trade links with the East African Community (EAC).
Outgoing Nigerian High Commissioner to Tanzania Sahabi Issa Gada, said his country was ready for deeper relations with the EA bloc.
“There is a need to encourage deeper integration through business exchanges,” he said when he paid a visit to the EAC headquarters here.
Dr Gada, who was also accredited to the EAC, said increased trade between the two sides would boost the economies of the same.
He did not give any statistics but trade between Nigeria, also the most populous country in Africa, is often reported to be low. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Nigeria’s economy is worth more than $ 500 billion and $1 trillion in terms of nominal GDP and purchasing power parity respectively.
It is often seen as a ‘Giant of Africa’ owing to its large population of 206 million, a strong economy and an emerging market by the World Bank.
EAC Secretary General Liberat Mfumukeko stressed the need for stronger collaboration between EAC and the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas).
He said although the EAC has made some milestones, it was now bound to focus on a few priority areas “that will produce impactful results to the lives of EA citizens”.
He added: “Integration is not an easy movement as it needs vision, courage and commitment of the partner states to propel the agenda.”
He stressed the need for Ecowas and EAC to work together in order to achieve the set goals as the building blocks for the continental integration.
EAC, a six nation economic bloc, has a total population of 173 million, combined GDP of $163 billion and GDP purchasing power parity of $472 billion.