BY MESERET BEHAILU
ADDIS ABABA – The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will bring significant change in correcting the distorted international trade system, motivating private sector, creating jobs and ensuring African interest, so stated a lecturer.
Speaking to the Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA), Unity University Economics Lecturer Dememelash Habtie (PhD) said that the trade relation among African countries is still very poor. It means that the African trade exchange within the continent is below 20 percent while it has exceeded 70 percent in developed nations.
According to the Lecturer, about 44 African countries agreed to establish AfCFTA map in 2018 and started its implementation in 2019 to create strong African continental free trade area with a view to realizing industrialization. In this regard, out of the total 55 African nations, 54 of them ratified the AfCFTA.
“As Africa is a large continent with large number of population and it has a total of, 2.5 trillion USD GDP, which is a large potential by itself, the continent has not adequately utilized the resources concerning market interaction,” he added.
As to the Lecturer, the existing barriers and unfair global market are among the serious factors that hinder the realization of AfCFTA at the significant level. For example, developed countries have been taking raw materials from Africa at the cheapest price and they sent items costly to Africa in return. Due to this reason, African countries are still waiting “Balance of Deficit Payment” even they have counted over half a century for independence. For example, 39 African nations out of the 55, the daily income per person is 1.25 USD, which is below poverty line.
“The AfCFTA will bring significant outcome in motivating the private sector, putting the manufacturing sectors in full potential, and significant to stimulate service sectors, job creation among others. To realize this, it needs to reduce bureaucratic red tape, implement local currency market exchange, encourage governments’ interaction, and create conducive market environment in the continent. It is also helpful to correct the distorted world trade system,” the Lecturer stated.
The February 2/2022