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At a recent summit in Kigali, Rwanda, 44 African heads of state signed a new free trade agreement aimed at changing the way the region does business.Africa needs its own platform strategy, and the new single market can deliver it.Second, Africa requires greater access to capital markets to help sustain manufacturing and technological innovation.To lure African and foreign funds, Africa's governments, businesses and industries must commit to improving and making more accessible statistical information across all sectors, so that investors can assess market conditions with the necessary degree of confidence.Because many businesses in Africa are tied to agriculture, the sector should serve as the backbone of any expanded trading regime. If Africa's smallholder farmers had easier access to markets, economic growth would naturally accelerate and industrialization would eventually follow.That means focusing first on small and medium-size enterprises, which account for 80 percent of all African businesses.
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