New African trade deal presents many opportunities – AfBC

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’Femi Asu

The African Business Council has lauded the commencement of trading on the basis of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, saying it presents many opportunities for the private sector.

The AfBC said the start of trading under the AfCFTA presented enormous business opportunities for the pan-African private sector, small and medium enterprises, women and youths ‘as the continent takes this bold move towards boosting intra-African trade’.

It noted that the launch of the start of trading on the basis of the AfCFTA on January 1 followed the African Union Assembly decision made on December 5, 2020 at the 13th Extra Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union on the AfCFTA.

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The AfBC described the AfCFTA as an opportunity for the pan-African private sector to build Africa through manufacturing, distribution, transportation, and health eco-systems, among others.

The Interim Chair Person of the African Business Council, Dr Amany Asfour, said, “The AfCFTA gives us an opportunity to drive our agenda. For many years, the African business community has been individualistic in driving the continent’s agenda.

“It is an opportunity for us as the African Business Council to come together and support the implementation of the AfCFTA. We are a united voice, and we can do this together.”

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“It is a new year, and new opportunities are emerging. As manufacturers, traders, farmers, transporters, shippers, Women Business Associations and Youths, here is our time. Let us go out there and grab the opportunities,” the Interim Vice-Chairperson, AfBC, Dr. Ahmed Mansur, said.

According to him, it is time to feed Africa through agriculture, manufacturing and promoting value chains, and it is only through a united voice that Africa can be transformed.

“The proliferation of non-tariff barriers in Africa has often hindered intra-Africa trade. It is difficult to move cargo among African countries, and the online system on the Monitoring, Reporting and Elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers will assist in the implementation of the AfCFTA,” the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Ms Amina Mohammed, was quoted as saying.”

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