Namibia ready for AfCFTA trade opportunities
06 January 2021 | Africa
President Hage Geingob says Namibia is ready to seize trade opportunities offered by the recently launched African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
Commenting on his official Facebook page on Sunday, Geingob said the launch of the agreement, which took place virtually on 1 January 2021, represents a key milestone in Africa’s march towards economic emancipation and shared prosperity for Africans.
Namibia is one of 54 out of the 55 African countries that have signed the AfCFTA agreement, which aims to bring together over 1.3 billion African people in a US$3.4 trillion economic bloc that will be the largest free trade area since the establishment of the World Trade Organisation.
The launch marked the official opening of free trading between small, medium and big enterprises across the continent.
Vision for Africa
AfCFTA secretary-general Wamkele Mene said the launch brings Africa closer to a vision of an integrated continent with an integrated market.
“This African Continental Free Trade area should not just be a trade agreement, it should actually be an instrument for Africa’s development,” he said in his statement published on the African Union website.
Mene said the World Bank has projected that by the end of 2035, over 100 million African people will be lifted out of poverty if the agreement is effectively implemented – the majority of whom will be women in trade.
“It will be an opportunity to close the gender income gap, and for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access new markets,” he stated.
Mene said they are working with their technical partners to develop digital technology platforms that will enable connectivity of SMEs and young Africans in trade.
This so that the agreement not only benefits big corporations, but women, young people and small businesses too, he added.