The Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Dr Vera Songwe has stated that the African Continental Free Trade Area has the potential to increase Africa’s Gross Domestic Product by $1 trillion.
She made the remarks at the ECA’s Regional Business Forum, which was titled, “Empowering women youths to drive Africa’s transformation agenda,” according to Punch.
What the Executive Secretary of the ECA said
Songwe said, “In a crisis, the first thing we want to do is ensure we prevent good businesses from falling below and focus a lot on retention.
“Africa, in particular, the West African region, has the population dynamics working for it. The African population is estimated at 1.3 billion in 2020 of which over 250 million are the youth and it is estimated that 10 million to 12 million are entering the workforce every year but only 3.1 million of them find jobs.
“AfCFTA stands to grow Africa’s GDP by an additional one trillion dollars to deliver on what is needed: first unlocking our borders, building value chains and making sure the African women all work together to create the supply chain for textile, fashion, for agro-industry.”
Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, also spoke at the occasion and stated that it had become critical for society to empower young and women.
Nairametrics reported earlier this month that Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo stated that African governments need to provide a stable macroeconomic environment that smoothens out volatility in prices, sharp deteriorations in the current account and budget deficits to prepare for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Also, the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), has stated that for Nigeria to take advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), policymakers must prioritise investments in regional infrastructure to maximize Nigeria’s position with the agreement.