Expert says continental free trade area to boost African countries' competitiveness

Updated: July 23, 2020 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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The realization of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will boost the economic competitiveness of African countries, an Ethiopian expert said on Wednesday.

The AfCFTA will create a trade bloc whose size is seven times greater than Europe's, Gedion Jalata, senior adviser to the United Nations Development Program on South-South cooperation and former consultant with the Capacity Development Division of the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

The continental free trade area will help African countries compete globally with developed economies.

"AfCFTA's objectives are the facilitation of free movement of labor, goods and capital similar to how Europe developed economically in the aftermath of World War II," he said.

"We live in the age of globalization where a country's or continent's size is an advantage in global economic competitiveness, with AfCFTA helping create a collective economic power for the continent," Jalata told Xinhua.

The AfCFTA can help meet the economic, social and political potential of Africa's one billion plus population, the majority of whom are young people, he said.

"The African continent, which has a majority youth population, has to come together to fulfill the continent's economic, social and political potential and AfCFTA has the capability to fill that potential," Jalata said.

Editor: Ting Liu