The immediate past CEO of the Nigerian Shippers Commission, Hassan Bello, has said there is need to harmonise the various trade laws in Africa especially for the maritime corridors.
Bello who is the Principal Partner, Justicia Legal Practitioners Abuja, said it will unlock trade opportunities in Africa just like that success the European Union has achieved in trade among member countries.
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He said a unified trade law for the region is particularly key now that the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA) has commenced.
According to Economic Development in Africa Report 2019, the Intra-African exports were 16.6 percent of total exports in 2017, compared with 68.1% in Europe, 59.4% in Asia, 55.0% in America and 7.0% in Oceania. Intra-African trade, defined as the average of intra-African exports and imports, was around 2% during the period 2015-2017. Although the trade statistics are rising, it could do better with better laws and cooperation among African countries.
He said the unification of the trade laws in Africa is one key project he is involved in after his tenure as the CEO of the Nigerian Shippers Council.
“There would be a lot of advocacy that I will be involved in. My ambition is to support AfCFTA especially in the areas of fusion of the African trade laws. I want to codify African trade laws. It will engender cooperation in Africa. United laws should promote inter-trade within Africa,” he said.