President of the World Trade Organization, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, has stated that in order for Africa to successfully implement the African Continental Free Trade Area, we must lower the costs associated with doing business both within the continent and with the rest of the world.
Nairametrics reported that she emphasized that some tariffs and obstacles result in significant costs for African exporters when trading both within and outside of the continent.
“These expenses are the equivalent of 350% in tariffs, which is 1.5 times higher than what you would find in developed countries.
This information was made public by Okonjo Iweala on Friday during a discussion of the IMF’s research on the prospects of the AfCFTA.
The former finance minister of Nigeria observed that Nigerians needed time to recuperate from numerous shocks, including the conflict in Ukraine.
“As a result, at this particular time, ensuring the success of the AfCFTA is crucial to enabling Africa to strengthen regional cooperation.
The African Union’s Agenda 2063, which aims to industrialize the continent and spur economic growth, would be carried out in large part by the AFCFTA, she continued.
The WTO Chief emphasized that specific steps must be taken by African authorities to make it work, including reducing the continent’s exorbitant trading costs with the rest of the world and among one another.
At the ninth session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development in Niamey, Niger, the acting Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, Antonio Pedro, revealed that in 2022, the African Continental Free Trade Area saw a 20% rise in intra-African commerce.