The World Bank has revealed that the effective implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is capable of boosting Africa’s export by $560 billion, generating more revenue and lifting more Africans out of poverty.
This was disclosed by the Head of Trade Remedies, Nigeria Office for Trade Negotiations, Adetola Onayemi, in a keynote lecture titled “AfCFTA Overview: Objectives, Challenges, Benefits and Implementation Plan,” during the recently concluded Nairametrics Regulatory Economic Outlook Webinar 2021.
Mr Onayemi also revealed that the effective implementation of the pact is capable of lifting 30 million Africans out of extreme poverty and boosting Africa’s income by $450 billion.
He quelled the rumour that Nigeria was forced into the treaty, insisting that Nigeria played a crucial and significant role in the negotiation and success of the trade pact. Driving home his point, Mr Onayemi said:
- “The World Bank has said that if the AfCFTA is implemented well, it is expected to raise 30 million Africans out of extreme poverty and 70 million Africans out of moderate poverty. It is going to boost export by $560 billion, increase our wage gain by 10% and boost Africa’s income by $450 billion.”
What you should know
- The AfCFTA will be one of the largest trade blocs in the global economy since the 1995 WTO establishment, with an estimated GDP of $3 trillion.
- As earlier reported by Nairametrics, the implementation of AfCFTA deal which was initially scheduled to take off on July 2020 has been postponed to January 2021 due to the pandemic.
- As at today, 54 out of the 55 member states of the African Union have signed the AfCFTA treaty, while 41 countries through their custom union have submitted tariff offers.
- On 5th of December 2020, Nigeria became the 34th country to submit its Instrument of Ratification.
According to Mr Onayemi, recent key developments as regards the AfCFTA include;
- A Johannesburg declaration by member states to enhance women and youth participation.
- There is also an on-going conversation between AfCFTA and Afreximbank to develop a Pan-African payment settlement system to solve currency differences.
- There is also an on-going conversation with Zenith Bank to develop a trade portal.
- The AfCFTA is negotiating with Standard Bank to offer $1billion trade facility to SMEs.
- There is a provision for an initiative tagged Afrochampions, aimed towards providing a trillion dollar investment framework to AfCFTA enabling projects.