The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) must be effectively implemented for African countries to speed economic development, according to the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
At the start of the third African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) Steering Committee Meeting (SCM) in Accra, Ghana, Stephen Karingi, Director of the commission’s Regional Integration and Trade Division, made the call.
Karingi stated that Africa would consider its next moves in order to create a market with AfCFTA.
“Thanks to AfCFTA, the continent is no longer a helpless bystander as developed countries pursue their strategic interests at Africa’s expense.
“AfCFTA now offers the perfect platform for Africa to pursue policies of strategic autonomy just like everyone else is doing,” he said.
If completely implemented, the AfCFTA is a development tool that can assist Africa in overcoming a variety of issues, including food poverty, unemployment, marginalization, and health insecurity, among others.
Karingi also stated that “the key to succeeding in this endeavour lies in our ability to use AfCFTA as a platform for Africa’s industrialisation.
“To this end, ECA is supporting several initiatives, including developing the electric battery value chain in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia,’’
The ATPC Coordinator, Melaku Desta, welcomed the committee members and thanked the Canadian government for continuing to support the ATPC for almost 20 years.
Desta expressed gratitude to the ATPC’s supporters, including the AfCFTA Secretariat, AU Commission, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), members of the organized African private sector and civil society, and other Committee members.
He referred to the Steering Committee as ATPC’s main governance structure, which oversaw and advised the organization’s general direction and strategic priorities.
AfCFTA’s significance was also emphasized by Miss Marjorie Cheron, co-chair of the steering committee and a representative of Global Affairs Canada.
AfCFTA, according to Cheron, would be a game-changer since it would provide a single, sizable market and a stable business environment with common standards.