ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia
(Xinhua) -- African Ministers of
Finance, Planning and Economic Development on Monday called for
swift actions towards realizing the continent’s ambitions
through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development,
addressing a High-level Ministerial Dialogue on the AfCFTA as
part of the ongoing 51st ministerial conference In Ethiopia’s
capital Addis Ababa on Monday, have voiced joint support to the
free trade pact.
Implementation of the AfCFTA, including internal reforms for
member countries to fully benefit from the initiative, the
strategic decisions to maximize countries’ competitiveness,
taxation issues and the importance of international cooperation
on the field, were among the major topics raised during the
high-level ministerial dialogue.
According to Aia-Eza Nacilia Gomes Da Silva, Angola’s
Secretary of State for Budget, "free trade is not just a matter
of being together, it’s a matter of changing internal
structures, having uniform policies, and preparing agendas that
are not conflicting with international commitments."
Ghanaian Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta also urged
African countries to ratify the continental free trade area
pact, which he said would enable Africa to start implementing
the agreement for the benefit of its people.
"Ghana always felt that a much more united Africa will
benefit all of us," he added.
The African Union also called on its member states to believe
on the importance of the continental free trade area.
"The challenge we face is that not all of us in Africa
believe the AfCFTA can be made to deliver," said AU Commissioner
for Trade and Industry Albert Muchanga.
"We need to ensure that all of us change our mindsets and
believe we can do it," Muchanga said.
He also revealed that the feedback given by the 11 countries
who haven’t signed the AfCFTA is "promising."
The AfCFTA was signed by 44 member states of the AU’s 55
member states earlier this year, while Kenya and Ghana handed
over to the AU the documents ratifying the pact last Thursday.
A minimum of 22 countries are needed for the AfCFTA to come
into force as Kenya and Ghana have become the first two
countries to do so.
The five-day gathering, from May 11 to 15, discusses the
potential for AfCFTA as a powerful tool to drive
industrialization, economic diversification and overall
development on the African continent.
Among other things, it aims to advance the ambitious
initiative to form a regional common market that could boost
intra-African trade to 52 percent by 2022, up from the current
level of only 16 percent, organizers said.
Ethiopia to ratify Africa
trade pact: Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed
ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) --
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on
Monday said his country would ratify the African Continental
Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, giving a major boost to the
continental economic initiative.
The PM made the remark during the opening of the Conference
of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic
Development in Addis Ababa.
Ahmed said ratifying the AfCFTA agreement will boost
intra-Africa trade and boost employment opportunities for
Africa’s predominantly young population.
Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation at around 100
million people which also happens to be East Africa’s largest
economy, is home to the AU headquarters, making its expected
ratification of AfCFTA especially significant.
So far, Ghana and Kenya have ratified the Continental Free
Trade Area, though 44 African countries have signed the AfCFTA
A minimum of 22 countries need to ratify the AfCFTA document
for it to come into force.