8 total views, no views today
With the delay and eventual signing of AfCFTA by President Buhari, it now seems that Africa is on the road to El Dorado with big brother Nigeria on the cruise. After drafting the agreement in March 2018, Nigeria delayed signing for over a year to ensure we get it right through proper and wide consultation. As commendable as the delay was and as beneficial as the agreement can be to Nigeria, the key question is if we are ready as a country to lead and benefit from AfCFTA. While the execution will start in 2020, there are no convincing signs internally and externally that we are willing and ready to lead or even benefit from the agreement. As the biggest trading bloc in the world with over 54 countries on board, there are certain strategic moves that are required to show seriousness and commitment to lead and benefit.
On the external front, two recent developments stand out. With the signing of the agreement by 54 African countries (remaining only Eriteria), African leaders voted to have Ghana as the headquarters of the forthcoming Africa free Trade Zone. Interestingly, with the free trade zone headquarters comes the African aviation hub to be built in Ghana also in addition to further developments of the sea ports. Even without much details, the immense benefits of Ghana’s strategic move and positioning can only be imagined. Think of the job creation, inflows of both foreign direct/portfolio investments, access to international finance and capital market development, manufacturing hubs and spill over products and services that will follow.
As Nigeria fully and significantly participated in all discussions leading to the drafting, signing and expected execution of the AfCFTA, the question is whether we forgot or are ignorant of the benefits of having … Read More...