LUANDA, Angola, July 22, 2018 (MFA)…Cabinet Secretary Amb Monica Juma has underscored the important role of African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in delivering the African Agenda 2063 and transforming the economic structure of the continent.
Speaking at a reception for the African Group of Ambassadors in Luanda, Angola, the Cabinet Secretary said there has been sustained efforts to improve the material condition of Africa. This efforts have cumulatively led to the most transformational and bold attempt at setting the continent on a positive development trajectory.
She said that the Kigali Declaration, the AfCFTA and the Protocol of free Movement of People are some of the historic outcomes Africa has made while on a journey to restore its independence, dignity and prosperity.
While calling on all members of the African Union to adopt the AfCFTA, the CS underscored the AfCFTA accrued benefits for Africa which she said will revolutionize the way Africans trade and also contribute to the realization of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). AfCFTA will create a large intra-regional market that will attract FDI targeting exports outside the continent; market expansion; cross border trading; competitiveness and offer opportunities for the youth.
The CS noted that poor infrastructure, low access to finance by private sector, lengthy customer procedures, numerous trading regimes, lack of standardization within regional economic Communities (RECs), and intellectual Property are some of the challenges that could slow the implementation of the AfCFTA.
To address these challenges, the EAC region has embarked on a framework in development program called the Northern Corridor Summit, initiated to fast track the development of all infrastructure sectors that drive investment and development and has brought about positive results.
Towards this end, the CS called for unity of purpose, more Pan Africanism, more consultations and exchange of views in capitals, at the RECs levels, within the African Union, ACP, at the UN and all other multilateral forums to defend and advocate the African position.
Present at the reception was H.E. Amb. Claudia Grace Ushona, Ambassador of Namibia and Dean of Diplomatic Corps in Angola, Amb. Djigui Camara, Ambassador of Guinea Conakry, Dean of the African Group of Ambassadors, Amb. Josphat Makaira, Kenya’s Amb to Angola among others.