ECA rates AfCFTA high

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United Nations (UN) Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has said the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)has the capacity to increase inter-African trade by between 15 and 25 per cent.

ECA said the agreement which came into effect on May 30, 2019 has capacity for two-thirds of gains in industrial goods trade.

Karingi, said this during one of the sessions at the Aid for Trade Global Review organised recently by the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Stephen Karingi of ECA reported during one of the sessions at the Aid for Trade Global Review organised recently by the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

According to him, the potential growth in inter-African trade figure was important for African countries seeking to reduce their dependence on raw commodities and provides a good incentive for policies promoting industrialisation and diversification.

Panellists further discussed the foreseen impact of the AfCFTA and its potential to facilitate economic diversification and empowerment.

Nigeria at the weekend in Niamey, Niger Republic, officially joined the AfCFTA as President Muhammadu Buhari finally signed the agreement at the opening of the AU Summit.

The president’s spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement, said Buhari signed the treaty in the presence of other African heads of state and governments, delegates and representatives from the private sector, civil society and the media, which attended the 12th Extraordinary Summit of the African Union on the launch of the Operational Phase of the AfCFTA.

The phase one of the agreement was adopted by AU Heads of State and Governments at its 10th Extraordinary Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, on March 21, 2018. But Nigeria pulled out of the agreement signing ceremony at the last minute, following agitations from the private sector that the agreement would make Nigeria a dumping ground for goods and services in Africa.

Consequently, the president set up a committee to make wider consultations on the agreement with a view to coming up with recommendations on whether Nigeria should join AfCFTA or not.

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