he African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) presents Africa with the biggest opportunity for growth and prosperity, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan said here on Wednesday.
Hassan made the remarks during a visit to the AfCFTA secretariat.
The trade area presented an opportunity to accelerate intra-African trade and use trade more effectively as an engine for growth and sustainable development, said Hassan.
“As most African countries are recovering from the economic shocks resulting from COVID-19, the implementation of the AfCFTA will hasten a quick economic recovery with a free-trade area of over 1.2 billion people,” Hassan stated.
Wamkele Mene, secretary-general of the AfCFTA Secretariat, welcomed the Tanzanian president and hailed her visit as a further testimony to the seriousness African leaders attached to the implementation of the AfCFTA.
To strengthen the continent’s industrial development efforts and boost intra-African trade, Mene said the secretariat had identified four priority value chains, namely the agro-processing industry, automotive sector, pharmaceutical area, and transport and logistics.
“We must develop these sectors to accelerate the implementation of AfCFTA’s industrialization. They will also create jobs for young Africans and small-medium enterprises led by women,” Mene added.
According to him, the secretariat had successfully secured a 1-billion-U.S.-dollar investment from the African Export-Import Bank for the continent’s industrial development.