Wamkele Mene calls for political stability to promote AfCFTA
Mr Wamkele Mene, the Secretary General of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), says political stability on the African continent is the surest way to support private sector and multilateral investments as well as cross-border trade.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview, Mr Mene said it was important for countries on the continent, especially those in the ECOWAS and East Africa Community (EAC), to ensure that changes in governments were constitutional and could support predictable policy environments for localizing the AfCFTA.
He said the intra-continental trade was estimated to generate USD 3.4 trillion in Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and increase incomes by seven percent,
It would also increase trade by up to USD 70 billion and lift more than 100 million people out of poverty by 2040.
Most of the gains, however, would be generated by the manufacturing and services sector.
Mr Mene pointed out that African governments needed to tap into local capital markets to help curb illicit financial flows outside the continent.
He said AfCFTA had an objective of creating an integrated market through some core actions that would guide implementation.
This, he indicated, was geared towards diversifications and the development of manufacturing and industrial value chains by member countries.
Tariff reduction as well as removal of non-tariff barriers over time would also help a great deal, he noted.
Also, the absorption of new technologies and the need to diversify manufactured goods to secure benefits from the AfCFTA depended on labour market factors such as productivity, healthcare conditions, mobility, innovation and duration.
Mr. Mene said Regional Economic Community (REC) have been established to foster integration and form the bedrock for the implementation of the AfCFTA.