CFTA to make Africa One of the Largest Economies in the World
By Irene Gaitirira
Published December 10, 2017
Africa’s proposed Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) shall make the continent one of the largest economic blocs in the World
Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), says CFTA, through elimination of tariffs and reduction of non-tariff barriers, shall boost intra-African trade by 52% and benefit African welfare to the tune of US$22 billion, respectively.
Songwe was speaking at the opening of a two-day meeting of African Ministers of Trade (AMOT) in the Nigerien capital, Niamey,that is is expected to examine and approve the text of the Agreement establishing the CFTA.
She said an enlarged continental market fostered by CFTA will attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) to support African infrastructure development, increase productivity, and support diversification and transformation.
Issoufou Mahamadou, Niger’s President, said CFTA could help in getting Africa “out of the vicious circle of unemployment, joblessness, and recurrent exodus of youth from the continent as economic migrants.”
Saying “CFTA is part of a bigger package, which includes enhanced intellectual property rights, industrialisation, and the elimination of armed conflicts by 2020 among others”, Moussa Faki Mahamat, African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson, said “CFTA will make Africa one of the largest economies in the world and enhance its capacity to interact on equal terms with other international economic blocs.”