Namibia readies for US$3.4 trillion AfCFTA market

November 17, 2022 1032

Namibia is set to launch the National African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Implementation Strategy and Action Plan for 2022 – 2027 aimed at taking advantage of a market of about 1.3 billion people in 55 AU member countries with a combined GDP of US$3.4 trillion.

 The Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade (MIT) said the country, which signed the AfCFTA Agreement in 2018 and ratified the agreement in February 2019, is capacitating itself for the huge market.

“This means that the country is set to participate in the AfCFTA, particularly offering opportunities for economic diversification and value chain development and expansion, to achieve economic transformation,” the ministry said.

The government department also plans to conduct a training workshop on the status of the AfCFTA negotiations and the women and youth protocol as they have been found not to be aware   how to implement the trade agreements.

“Part of the implementation of the AfCFTA requires capacity building and training of potential beneficiaries on the opportunities the agreement presents. Due to gender inequality in the continent, Women and Youth entrepreneurs are faced with challenges of lack of access to information on opportunities in their environment and how to take advantage thereof. Additionally, Women and Youth are often not aware of how to champion inclusion in the negotiation and implementation of agreements such as the AfCFTA.”

“The AfCFTA is integrating gender equality into states’ trade policies through their strategies for AfCFTA implementation, in response to gender equality. Its preamble recognizes the importance of gender equality for the development of international trade and economic cooperation. Article 3 emphasizes the promotion of gender equality as one of the general objectives of AfCFTA, whereas Article 27 of the Protocol on Trade in Services acknowledges the need to improve the export capacity of formal and informal service suppliers, with particular attention to micro, small and medium-sized operators and women and youth service suppliers.”

Within a span of four years, it has been signed by 54 AU member states and ratified by 43 members.

AfCFTA aims to increase the ease of trade and investment across African borders, as well as eliminating tariffs on intra-African trade, reducing unemployment, increasing infrastructure development and creating a more competitive and sustainable environment for cross-border trade.

AfCFTA is designed to boost intra-African trade by up to 52.3% and expand Africa's economy to US$29 trillion by 2050.

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Last modified on Thursday, 17 November 2022 18:22