According to President Muhammadu Buhari, the revisions to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will result in an increase of more than 15% in Nigeria’s non-oil exports to other African nations.
At the ninth annual African Shippers’ Day, which had the following theme: “African Continental Free Trade Agreement: A Veritable Platform for African Shippers to Mainstream Into Global Trade” held in Lagos.
Buhari listed the export products, which included textiles, clothing, leather, wood, and papers, as well as metals, electronics, cars, transportation equipment, and industrial machinery.
Other items include animals for the agricultural and food industries, fisheries, meat, poultry, milk, and dairy products, rice, other cereals, plant-based fibers, and other crops, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and other food items, drinks, and tobacco.
Ademola Adegoroye, the Minister of State for Transportation, who was standing in for Buhari, declared that Nigeria’s exports to sub-regions of Africa other than West Africa would increase significantly, with the most impressive increases going to nations like Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
He added that because of Nigeria’s enormous economic heft, intra-African exports are likely to grow there among other African countries, with that country being the ECOWAS member expected to see the most increase.
“In Nigeria, we have realised that AfCFTA would be a game changer when it comes to stimulating intra-African trade because the more ambitious the trade liberalisation, the greater the expansion of Nigerian exports to its African partners,” he said.
Buhari noted that although African exports have had their quickest increase in the past decade, the volumes remain modest at just 3% of world commerce, claiming that the global economy is a source of prosperity that African economies cannot afford to ignore.
He said that according to estimates from the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) of the United Nations, the AfCFTA could increase intra-African trade by 52%, with the industrial sector expected to benefit the most.
According to Buhari, the GDP would rise by $44 billion, exports would rise by $56 billion, and the AFCFTA may potentially create more jobs and bring more informal traders into the formal economy.
Following this, he continued, African nations must broaden and diversify their involvement in international trade and global value chains in order to develop their economies, produce wealth, generate jobs, and significantly reduce global poverty.
He claimed that the Covid-19 outbreak and the ensuing global lockdown demonstrated the need for a strong and effective AfCFTA by highlighting Africa’s reliance on the export of raw materials to other regions of the world and the purchase of manufactured goods from them.
“Deepening regional integration to scale up supply capacity and build regional value chains is essential to the continent’s economic transformation. Non-Oil Exports
The AfCFTA’s foundation opens up significant production and export opportunities, generates jobs, and reduces the influence of commodity price volatility on the economy of numerous African nations.
“AfCFTA is expected to bring about a number of benefits to producers, consumers and countries alike. The hope is that African producers would benefit from cheaper inputs and intermediate goods as well as larger markets for their products while consumers have access to cheaper goods and a broader variety of products,” he said.
Buhari asserted that African economies should benefit from trade and further gain from the elimination of the onerous constraints associated with numerous and converging trade agreements on the continent.
According to him, for the AfCFTA to have a beneficial impact on long-term productive capacities, African countries must provide the necessary enabling laws, erect the necessary infrastructure, and guarantee a skilled labor force.
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