African Union Commission and the East Africa discuss strengthening the continental free trade zone and the promotion of intra-African trade
Aware that the lower levels of intra-regional trade is in Africa compared to other regions in Alm, regional consultative meeting of the EAC on the continental free trade area and promote intra-regional trade Alavriqih, Thursday, November 27th, 2014 Hilton, Nairobi, Kenya Hotel began.
It was a consultative meeting at a time when the East African Community is working to consolidate the integration process through the implementation of the Customs Union and the Common Market and monetary union protocols, and implement industrial policy and the regional strategy, negotiating and implementing several multilateral agreements to gain access to markets, and attract domestic and foreign direct investment is growing as well as the discovery and exploration of natural resources, especially hydrocarbons.
Consultative meeting was attended by the member states of the East African Community, namely: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda as well as the East African Business Council. Meeting was also attended by the African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank, in their capacity as members of the Joint Secretariat of the Office of the Union of Africa United Nations Economic Commission for Africa - African Development Bank.
Speaking on behalf of the African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Director of Trade and Industry, African Union Commission Ms. Treasure Mvanga explained that in spite of the fact that Africa's growth and has a bright future, but there is much to be done to enable the continent to take advantage and exploit its potential for development. Ms. Mavanga "We have reported on duty status decisions enable Africa to take advantage of those limitless possibilities tomorrow. And assigned the continental free trade zone on the integration of regional operations ongoing in all regions, including the East African Community as well as expected continental free trade zone agreement in the near future." .
For his part, urged Ambassador Nelson Nderanju Director of Economic Affairs and International Trade at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Kenya, on the continental free trade area should not focus on the expansion and complement trade, but extends to other areas such as infrastructure development in transport, information technology, telecommunications, energy, customs, standards and remove restrictions from non-tariff and transmission businesses and individuals.
Executive Director of the Business Council East African Mr. Andrew tonsillar noted in his opening speech that the degree of implementation of the members of trade with its obligations countries within the economic groupings will be key in determining the success of tariff continental free trade area agreement, and thus to ensure the progress of the continental free trade zone, they must go beyond the level of trade liberalization achieved by Member States or regional economic groups currently existing states.
It is expected that the consultative meeting facilitates dialogue between the member states of the East African Community and the private sector on the continental free trade and the implementation of intra-African trade strategy for the region, and to begin the process of preparations for negotiations continental free trade area, which will lead to the development of a draft action plan and strategy that takes into account the regional dynamics and the facts and determine the the needs of the necessary capabilities to member states and the East African Community Secretariat Group building, in order to participate effectively in the continental free trade area negotiations and agree on a common strategy for resource mobilization.
There are many economic realities that make intra-regional trade in Africa is an urgent need for them to Africa remains the continent most fragmented, where the 54 with many overlapping borders of the State, has indicated WTO reports to the very low intra-African trade, which accounted for last year, only about 10% compared with 70% in Europe and 52% in the Asian countries and 40% in North America and 26% in South America.
Strangely enough, we find that the largest trading partner of any African country to be either Asian or European or American, where the low intra-African trade wasted opportunity towards development and growth of the state.
Economic reports suggest that if the African countries to increase their share in global trade by only 2%, this would mean an increase GNP African estimated at $ 200 billion annually, and this is approximately equal to five times what is obtained by the African countries from foreign donors and partners in the form of grants The annual development aid.
Certainly the economic integration of the continent needs to prepare legislation to facilitate the citizens, workers, and the flow of goods movement across the entire continent, and the promotion of intra-regional trade will create more job opportunities for the youth of Africa.
According to data from the World Bank statistics, three of every five unemployed young people in Africa, On average, about 72% of them do not exceed the daily income of $ 2 only, they make up 60% of the total unemployed.
The World Bank reports indicate that in spite of the many open food markets and regional commitments and agreements, but the government intervention led to a lack of access to regional policies to achieve agricultural growth and food security.
And limited trade in materials and basic food crops.
The volume of trade in basic foodstuffs in the continent of about $ 50 billion per year is expected to reach trade in rice crop size only $ 8 billion by 2025, but only 5% of this trade are at the regional level while importing the rest from outside Africa .
In addition to the high cost of transportation and border crossing, which may reach about 40% of the final price of the commodity, and this is equal doubled compared to European countries.