Secretary General of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Mr Wamkele Mene, has said the area is a key driver for economic recovery from the impacts of COVID-19 in the industrialisation growth and development agenda.
Mene, who spoke last weekend during a visit to the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said before the pandemic, Africa was a significant market with a growth rate of 3.4 per cent annually, and the producer of six out of 10 fastest growing economies of the world.
“With COVID-19, the continent went from that to a contraction of a magnitude that we have not had in about 30 years.”
He noted that sub-Saharan Africa will see 2.1% growth by 2022, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), “if we roll out vaccines on time and implement the AfCFTA. The AfCFTA, therefore, is the driver for Africa’s recovery with all the components critical to this happening.”
President of LCCI Mrs Toki Mabogunje said AfCFTA would make the continent more integrated, united and prosperous, especially in the light of the numerous benefits of a larger market.
She, however, expressed anxiety over the competitiveness challenges and possible import surge that would come with the continental integration deal.