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Free trade will spur economic activities in Nigeria, other countries – AfDB

  Zakariyya Adaramola A growing commitment to a free trade area deal by the continent’s leaders will spur efforts to create the world’s largest free…

 

Zakariyya Adaramola

A growing commitment to a free trade area deal by the continent’s leaders will spur efforts to create the world’s largest free trade zone, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has said.

“There’s light at the end of the tunnel,” Mukhtar Abdu, AfDB’s Director of the Industrial and Trade department said at the weekend.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) deal, ratified by 22 countries in April, a year after it was launched in Kigali, Rwanda, is designed to boost intra-African trade as part of efforts to transform regional economies.

The Bank at the weekend concluded its 2019 Annual Meetings in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea on the theme: “Regional Integration for Africa’s Economic Prosperity.”

It was attended by top policy makers, business leaders and multilateral donors, most of whom have made speeches backing the need for stronger commitment to integration.

Abdu’s department leads the Bank’s ‘Industrialize Africa” High 5 under which several pipeline projects are expected to yield long-term results in reducing poverty and job creation.

“We continue to deliver on key infrastructure projects that catalyze private sector investments and also provide support for businesses, especially in the private sector,” he said.

The Bank’s Industrialization Strategy for Africa 2016–2025 defines six flagship areas which can best leverage its experience, capacities and finances to fast-track industrialization.

Projects supported recently by the Bank include Mauritania’s National Industrial and Mining Company and the Nouadhibou Port, and the second phase of Nigeria’s Indorama Fertilizer Plant.

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