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Browsing: African Continental Free Trade Area
With the covid-19 coronavirus global crisis affecting, Africa could be hit harder with a heavy and durable economic toll.
This hit will threaten progress and prospects, widen inequalities between and within countries and worsen current fragilities.
To survive this, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) says that African countries need support in preparing for the health crisis, and for the economic fallout.
“The measures being taken in Asia, Europe and North America such as physical (social) distancing and regular hand washing will be a particular challenge for countries with limited internet connectivity, dense populations, unequal access to water and limited social safety nets,” notes ECA.
In line with the steps being taken across the globe, African countries are preparing for the worst effects of this pandemic.
To help Africa survive the crisis, ECA says that the G20 must support an immediate …
With the covid-19 coronavirus pandemic slowing down the global economy’s growth, Africa could just be in time for a revolution that could help it recover faster than the rest of the world.
For starters, the continent is advantaged by having fewer infections which could make it possible for Africa to successfully curtail the spread of the coronavirus if strict measures are taken. While this move may not be uniformly undertaken continent-wide, the ravages of the Ebola virus have prepared many to deal with the pandemic. From years of suffering from viral infections, the continent is well placed to stop the virus in its tracks.
But this comes at a cost since governments should be willing to spend on their people to ensure that the majority who live on daily casual wages are provided for to help them stay in during lockdowns.
The East African region has a combined GDP of US$ 880 billion and a population of 437 million.
Despite this attractive combination, the economies of East Africa are still highly fragmented with low intra-regional trade and investment levels. To make matters worse, the trade and investment have been declining.
The region’s biggest economies of Kenya and Ethiopia have an annual bilateral trade worth less than US$ 100 million since they barely trade with each other.
While these two economise paint a rough picture of the trade imbalances in the region, trading within the East African Community (EAC) is higher with exports peaking in 2013 at US$ 3.5 billion. Again, unfortunately, by 2017 the exports volumes had declined with earnings reducing by 31 per cent to just US$ 2.4 billion.
The lack of trade integration poses a serious impediment to the future development of the region despite the fact that the…
The African Continental Free Trade Area isn’t simply a ‘Free Trade Agreement’ it’s about establishing a unified continental market with 1.2 billion potential customers and where the private sector is a major engine to make it happen.
This, according to the East African Business Council (EABC) was the tone from the discussions of the meeting held on Thursday in Arusha about how the East African Private sector including Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) could benefit from the AfCFTA.
The one-day meeting, organized jointly between the EABC and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), convened close to 40 key players from the region’s private sector.
The office for Eastern Africa of ECA estimates large potential gains from the AfCFTA, including an increase in intra-African exports of Eastern Africa by nearly US$ 1 billion and job creation of 0.5 to 1.9 million.
“Together African economies have a collective GDP of 2.5 …