Various Measures Underway to Boost Implementation of AfCFTA, Intra-Trade: AU Commissioner Muchanga

The African Union is undertaking various measures including a trade observatory and Africa intra-trade fair to boost the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), commissioner for Trade and Industry of the African Union Commission Albert M. Muchanga said.In an exclusive interview with ENA, Commissioner Muchanga said that the Africa intra-trade fair that took place last year had a transaction of over 43.5 billion USD.This demonstrates the extent to which African countries can unleash the exponential benefits of promoting intra-trade and further encourage investment in the continent.“So when those happen it means that they are going to increase investment flows across Africa and the suppliers are going to know their customers and what they need. So these are some of the activities that we are undertaking to promote the African free trade,” he elaborated.Stating that infrastructure is critical thing towards accelerating the implementation of AfCFTA, Muchanga pointed out that massive investment is needed to scale up the prevailing infrastructure.Citing the African Development Bank (AfDB)’s assessment, the Commissioner indicated that Africa needs about 170 billion USD to develop the necessary infrastructure across the continent.Furthermore, he added that capacity building of the member states is pivotal not only in building new infrastructures but also in effectively utilizing them for collective benefits.Some African countries have been supportive of the AfCFTA efforts in building infrastructures across the continent, he emphasized.“Here I can give an example, the railway between Ethiopia and Djibouti, then when go down south right now the US, UK and EU are teaming up to develop the Lobito Corridor, which is going to link Angola, DRC, and Zambia. And the Chinese are rehabilitating the Tanzania-Zambia railway at a cost of about 1 billion USD,” Muchanag said.

The AfCFTA aims to create a single market for goods and services and a liberalized market for goods and services to enhance the movement of capital and people.

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