Dialogue to unpack economic benefits of the AfCFTA

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Local businesses in the Western Cape are set to gain more insight into the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with a view to explore the business opportunities it will bring.

This as the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) is set to host an economic policy dialogue to unpack the AfCFTA on Friday.

The session which will be addressed by Deputy Minister Fikile Majola, will take place in Cape Town.

 “This particular dialogue will zoom in on opportunities and challenges of the AfCFTA for South Africa and discuss its importance for the country’s industrial and overall economic development. Stakeholders from organised business, chief executive officers, academia, organised labour, government departments and civil society will all be in attendance to engage, interrogate and advance the economic and public policy view of the AfCFTA,” said the Deputy Minister.

The dti will host the session in collaboration with the Western Cape Department of Finance and Economic Opportunities.

The AfCFTA which is expected to come into effect on 1 July 2020, was first conceptualised in January 2012 in Ethiopia.

This as African leaders recognised that the promotion of intra-African trade was a fundamental factor for sustainable economic development, employment generation and effective integration of Africa into the global economy.

Majola said the dialogue will be driven by the intention to dissect the content of the AfCFTA and to expose its potential impact on the South Africa economy.

“The fact that South Africa is a member and signatory to this agreement, it becomes imperative that our business community has insight into its contents so that they should be best placed to participate and ultimately generate its economic benefits for the country,” he said on Tuesday.

The dialogue will contribute towards an improved understanding of the role of the AfCFTA on South Africa while ensuring that there is collective move to stimulate the economy and create employment through the agreement. 

“It is envisaged that once the AfCFTA is implemented in July this year, it will connect 1.2 billion people into a single economic bloc where products will be manufactured, bought and sold between countries, without any trade tariffs, and that it will lay the basis for increased intra-Africa trade,” said the Deputy Minister. –SAnews.gov.za

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