The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has estimated that the Africa continental free trade area (AfCTA) which aims at increasing Africa share of global trade from 2% to 3% would yield the continent additional income of about $70 annually.
Ahunna Eziakonwa, UNDP Regional Director for Africa in a statement signed by Lucky musonda, head of communication, UNDP, said that estimates are that if Africa were to increase its share of global trade from 2 to 3%, the one percentage point increase would result in an annual additional income of about US$70 billion stressing that there is need for African countries to collaborate more effectively in devising public policies that can create skills, foster innovation and technological advancement, facilitate labour mobility and access to productive assets including land and finance.
Eziakonwa, speaking at the 13th African Economic Conference in Kigali Themed “Regional and Continental Integration for Africa’s Development”, said that the African Continental Free Trade Area signed in March 2018 by 44 countries is seen as the most ambitious effort to form what has the potential to be the world’s biggest free trade agreement which aims to create a single continental market of goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments across Africa.
The 2018 AEC, jointly organized by the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the African Development Bank to accompanying the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) that was held 8 months ago in Kigali.
Claudine Uwera, Rwanda’s Minister of State in charge of Economic Planning said that Africa’s integration is no longer a choice but a must for the continent and its people.” To become the global player that it deserves to be, Africa should integrate Speedily”.
Uwera speaking further said that self-reliant approach that emphasizes intra-African trade, would not only help deepen regional economic integration, but contribute significantly to sustainable economic growth, job creation, poverty reduction, and inflow of foreign direct investment.
Gabriel Negatu, Director General of African Development Bank said “We are committed to continue supporting Africa’s integration agenda for it will lead to sustained growth and allow the continent to withstand external pressures; enable African companies to grow and become global giants”.
Cynthia Egboboh, Abuja
Tags: Africa continental free trade area