The President of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Prof. Benedict Oramah has urged Nigerians and other African countries to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), as he described it as the catalyst for generating massive increase in intra-African trade.
Oramah said that Africa is now at a pivotal stage in its history and the continent’s economies must grasp the opportunities of the single African market being created by AfCFTA. He added that the trade pact is the shortest part to transforming domestic economies and the region and delivering a new era of prosperity throughout Africa.
According to Guardian, this is coming in light of preparations for the second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2020), scheduled for next year in Kigali, Rwanda. Following success from its first edition, Oramah said next year’s conference would offer a platform to conclude numerous high-value intra-African trade and investment contracts by showcasing African goods, services and investment opportunities in excess of $40 billion.
According to him, “the second Intra-African Trade Fair has found a fitting venue in Kigali, as, over the course of the last two decades, Rwanda’s economic and structural transformation has delivered one of Africa’s economic success stories.”
“Trade is important for us as a nation. Economic progress is what makes the world go around. Our position is very simple; we support free trade as long as it is fair and conducted on an equitable basis.
“The AfCFTA will have both positive and negative effects on us as a nation and on our region. As Africa’s largest economy and most populous country, we cannot afford to rush into such agreements without full and proper consultation with all stakeholders.
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“Our vision for intra-African trade is for the free movement of “made in Africa goods”. That is, goods and services made locally with dominant African content in terms of raw materials and value addition,” President Buhari said.