Africa’s development is not coming from anybody else, own the AfCFTA – Wamkele urges youth


Source: Blessed Sogah

Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area, Wamkele Keabetswe Mene, has urged Africans especially the youth to take ownership of the new trade initiative which in his estimation portends the solution to moving the African continent from the periphery to the core of the global economy.

Speaking at a town hall organized by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), in collaboration with the Government of Zambia at the inaugural edition of the AfCFTA Youth Symposium come August 21–23 in Lusaka, Zambia, the first secretary-general pointed out that “the development of our continent is not going to come from anybody else except from us (Africans)”.

He added that “we have to take ownership when it seems that the challenges and difficulties are so entrenched. 72 years ago the European Countries established the coal and steel pact, many challenges along the way but 72 years it took them to get to where they are today, so we must recognize that there will be challenges, there will be difficulties, there will be instability as we see unfortunately in Sudan.

“Countries will experience balance of payment effects and not be able to implement the agreement, these are challenges that are going to be there but my view is that if we don’t take our own economic destiny into our own hands we will be in the periphery of the global economy.”

The AfCFTA Agreement establishes a Free Trade Area (FTA) which will bring together all 55 member states of the African Union, covering a market of more than 1.3 billion people.

As part of moves to promote the inclusion of women and youth the African Continental Free Trade Area says it is taking advantage of the youth symposium to explore the role of young people in the larger scheme of Africa’s economic development and the challenges hindering their meaningful contribution to such development, including participation in intra-African trade.

The Symposium also explored ways of ensuring young people truly benefit from the opportunities offered by the AfCFTA.

Also deliberations amongst the youth at the symposium is also expected to contribute to the AfCFTA Protocol on Women and Youth in Trade which is currently being negotiated, in line with the commitment of the 13th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union to “broaden inclusiveness” in the implementation of the AfCFTA and the decision of the 35th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly to include the Protocol on Women and Youth in Trade in the AfCFTA.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.