AfCFTA creating enormous opportunities for Africa – ITC Executive Director

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Sat, 14 May 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Russia-Ukraine crisis affecting imports

AfCFTA to build free trade for Africa

Africa urged to leverage AfCFTA benefits

In the face of the current global economic hardships characterized by the conflict currently ongoing between Russia and Ukraine, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area presents vast opportunities for African countries to impact the rest of the world through trade.

Due to the conflict ongoing between Russia and Ukraine, most countries have pulled back their exports to other countries, a phenomenon that is causing a general hike in the prices of goods and services.

However, Executive Director at the International Trade Centre, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, during the World Trade Promotion Conference 2024 noted that “It is completely natural for countries that feel threatened to pull inwards but I don’t think that is going to last long."

The AfCFTA provides a platform for African countries to trade among themselves to reduce the reliance on European countries.

She stated that “we are already seeing a movement of near-shoring or friend shoring taking place where there are amazing opportunities now for Africa because of the shift out of Asia and China towards potential markets which will loosen up the supply chain and allow greater ease in movement.”

“It is important to realize that there has not been a crisis like this in over a 100years and so none of us will know how to address this in real-time. That added to the conflict with Ukraine has exacerbated the situation, increased supply costs, migration, and refugee crisis.”

According to Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Africa must take advantage of these opportunities to build its free trade.

“So, in essence, the world is recalibrating, and as the world is recalibrating you see shifts in supply chains in value chains and that is where the African Continental Free Trade Area is creating an enormous opportunity for Africa to build its free trade and also impact the rest of the world, she noted.

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