AfCFTA to release continent’s economic potential

Monday, August 26, 2019

The Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) will release the continent’s economic potential with G7 countries set to partner with the African continent, says President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“We are confident that this Free Trade Agreement will unleash Africa’s economic potential and consolidate its position as a new frontier of economic growth and development,” said the President at the G7 and Africa Partnership meeting in Biarritz, France.

He said that as a flagship of the AU’s agenda 2063, the trade opportunities will engender peace and stability on the continent.

“In the context of South-North co-operation, we look forward to G7 countries joining us in a mutually beneficial partnership. We expect that this partnership will help Africa realise its potential, through investment and access to markets, capital, technology, and skills,” said the President on Monday.

This as he arrived in Biarritz on Sunday to participate in the G7 Summit, which is focused on the elimination of inequalities of various kinds globally. 

The President added that the focus at this Summit on the digital economy was equally important.

He said that through cooperation, countries can work together to ensure digitisation reduces inequality and supports inclusive economic growth.

“The African Union Commission is currently developing a comprehensive Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa that will provide a common, coordinated response to realise the digitisation of the continent,” he said.

“This will lay the basis for the development of infrastructure and the institutions we need to maximize the opportunities presented by the fourth industrial revolution.

“We are therefore looking forward to developing concrete initiatives through the G7 Africa partnership that will support Agenda 2063 and the digital transformation of Africa,” he said.

The G7 comprises France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, whose government leaders meet annually to discuss important global economic, political, social and security issues.

President Ramaphosa is invited to this year's G7 Summit by French President Emmanuel Macron.

The summit is structured into three tracks: the G7 and Africa Partnership (South Africa, Rwanda, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Senegal and the Chair of the African Union Commission), G7 and four Biarritz Partners (South Africa, India, Australia and Chile), and G7 and all partners. 

President Ramaphosa is accompanied by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor and Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

The summit, which kicked off on Sunday, will conclude today. –