Ethiopian Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew hsd said that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) can boost pan-African trade and create more business opportunities.
Andargachew is currently in Moscow for a three-day official visit.
The AfCFTA, which entered into force on May 31 after being ratified by the necessary threshold of 22 signatories, aims to create a tariff-free pan-African market that will foster intra-continental trade and business development as well as spur industrialization and employment opportunities.
“The AfCFTA is one of the projects of pan-Аfricanism. This free trade agreement will encourage African business people to look at the horizons, at the whole Africa.
Africa’s economy is improving, its growing fast … foreign direct investments are engaging in Africa,” Andargachew said.
According to the minister, the rapid economic growth and surge of direct foreign investments are an opportune development to further promote the AfCFTA.
“Now every corner of Africa is open for everyone to produce, sell goods and services. That will encourage African business people to move throughout Africa. That will create opportunity,” Andargachew said,
He added that despite there being concerns, they were not of unmanageable kind.
AfCFTA was immediately signed by 44 out of 55 African countries when it was launched in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, in March 2018. Nigeria, one of Africa’s leading economies, along with Benin, initially refrained but eventually signed it in summer 2019. Eritrea now remains the sole outsider.