WTO Boss, Dr Okonjo Iweala stated that for Africa to make the African Continental Free Trade Area work, the focus needs to be on logistics and simplifying movements of goods and services across the continent.
She disclosed this at the UBA Africa Day event on Tuesday themed: “Africa to the world.”
What Okonjo-Iweala said about AfCFTA implementation
“To make it work, we need to do a few more things, including logistic issues that prevent us from benefitting,” she said.
“Some parts of the continent are doing better than us on implementing than others, we still have lorries lined up by border and we are looking for digital passports and things, so that they can move easily.
“East Africa is doing better with cross border movement, we need to make it easier to move goods from one part of the country to the other.”
She added that making AfCFTA work requires investment in infrastructure, citing that the movement of people can also be made much easier.
“We have the AU passport, the idea is that business people will eventually get one and ordinary Africans can get one to move freely. If we want the AfCFTA to work, we must make goods, services, and people, flow easily across borders,” she stated.
Okonjo-Iweala also stated that Africa does not really have a choice if we want to change the tenure of growth, rely more on ourselves and less on the outside, export more, specialize and add more value to the continent’s raw materials.
“We have got to make this free trade area work,” she insisted.
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Minister of Trade and Industry, Adeniyi Adebayo, disclosed this week that the federal government plans to review Nigeria’s Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) to reflect economic realities towards the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).