Monrovia, Liberia, 21 February (ECA) - The success of the African Continental Free Trade area will depend on a range of policies to address trade, investment and industrialization barriers and the media will play a vital role to make it happen.
It is in this context that UN Economic Commission for Africa organized a three-day meeting with the Network of Economic Journalists for West Africa to make a case for AfCFTA and discuss with journalists a wide range of socio-economic development benefits deriving from its implementation.
Andrew Mold, Acting Director of ECA in Eastern Africa told the journalists that in a survey carried out by the Rockefeller Foundation in October last year found that 83 per cent of respondents believe the AfCFTA represents an important step forward in supporting economic development in Africa.
Mold highlighted the enormous potential offocusing on regional ties and tapping the rapidly growing markets within the continent. He explained how an excessively high shareof consumption is currently being met by imports from outside Africa, particularly of manufactured goods. He argued the need for more regional champions - companies that can upscale their operations so as to take advantage of the larger continental market.
Yet Mold noted that in some countries intra-regional tariffs are often still very high. “The elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers called for by the AfCFTA would give a significant boost to intra-African trade and would result in a notable welfare gain for consumers”, he said.
Mold told the journalists that the AfCFTA is not only about the trade but creating market access, free movement of people, goods and services.
The Network of Economic Journalists for West Africa was created in 2017 and is made of reporters and communication professionals from the Member States of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Economic Commission for Africa
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