Home NewsAfrica ‘AfCFTA will galvanise GDP growth in Africa’

‘AfCFTA will galvanise GDP growth in Africa’

by Haruna Gimba

By Muhammad Amaan

Nigeria’s Vice-President Kashim Shettima has expressed optimism that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) would help galvanize Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth on the continent.

Spokesperson of the Vice-President, Mr Stanley Nkwocha, in a statement on Thursday said Shettima spoke during a breakfast with African Heads of State to launch the Action Plan for AfCFTA.

The breakfast held on the sideline of the ongoing World Economic Forum (WEF), holding in Davos, Switzerland.

Shettima said that based on the World Bank projections, AfCFTA would increase Africa’s GDP by 450 billion dollars in 2035, and exports by more than 81 per cent.

He said the need to increase intra-Africa trade currently put at 15 per cent and its potential to raise the continent’s GDP are some of the compelling reasons why the AfCFTA agreement must not be allowed to fail.

“African trade is to be boosted by 52.3 per cent by 2025. We should increase these targets and look at the trillions of dollars.

“African countries need to move quickly to iron out whatever agreements and impediments remaining to ensure free and smooth trade.

“Information sharing with private sector players must be optimized and prioritized. Trade is a private sector imperative, which governments only facilitate.”

Shettima observed that negotiations have turned out to be too slow, with clashes between national and continental priorities.

This, according to him, has led to too few consummated deals among countries since January 2021 to date.

“Looking ahead, there is need for speed and cohesion among African countries. The idea of AfCFTA must not fail, and there is no room for mediocrity in today’s world.”

Citing examples of trade unions in Europe, the Americas and Asia, Shettima said African trade could not continue to be externalised.

“Even though we have increased intra-Africa trade from a mere seven per cent a decade ago, to about 15 per cent today.

“While Intra-European Trade is around 70 per cent, there is need for African leaders to do a lot better in organically empowering countries on the continent to solve their problems.”

He urged Africa’s private sector players to be proactive in stepping up to the plate to occupy their pride of place in trade on the continent.

Similarly, Shettima at a forum to welcome investors to a parley with Nigerian officials, told foreign investors that Nigeria was on the right path to becoming their delight.

He said President Bola Tinubu’s administration was on a drive to bring in the entire ecosystem of investors.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment