Ambassador Eloho Ejeviome Otobo has disclosed that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) would dramatically improve intra and inter-African trade and grow the continent’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to $420 billion by 2025.
Otobo made this known at the 5th edition of Prime Business Africa’s Socio-Economic and Entrepreneurship Development Series (SEEDS) held virtually.
The ambassador, a non-resident senior fellow in Peace Building and Global Economic Policy at the Global Governance Institute, Brussels, said the AfCFTA agreement has reached 87.6 per cent on the convergence of rules of origin with 39 out of 55 African countries having ratified the treaty.
Convergence of rules of origin he said, means that “trading begins in the continent, as many African countries will like the goods that are being created to be made in Africa, and that’s why that agreement.”
Otobo, who is also the Director of Newstide Publications Board and member of the editorial board of Prime Business Africa said the treaty has the potentials to lift many out of poverty in Africa which according to him currently accounts for 17 per cent of the world’s population which are only three per cent share of the world’s trade and three percent of the world’s GDP.
“Among the expected benefit of the African Continental Free Trade Area are these: one the AfCFTA will dramatically improve both intra-African trade and inter-African trade.
“Projections by the Economic Commission for Africa and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), show that AfCFTA will reduce the number of people living in absolute poverty by 30 million by 2025. As a result of AfCFTA, it’s expected that African GDP will grow by 420 billion dollars by 2025.
“It is also projected that AfCFTA will also result in a $7 trillion market economy by 2030 and $16 trillion market by 2050.
“Now of cause, one cannot trade without production of goods and services. While trade is often described as the engine of growth, businesses, in particular, private enterprises are the drivers of production and value addition,” he said.
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