The World Trade Organisation (WTO), has described the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as a recipe for peace, stability and economic prosperity in Africa that has been forever fragmented.
Speaking at the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development in Egypt on behalf of the WTO, Deputy Director-General, Alan Wolff said:
AfCFTA and the WTO “share a common goal and a common heritage — the use of trade for peace. He further added that: “Regional and multilateral integration through the AfCFTA and WTO membership can help to “knit together an African continent that has been forever fragmented.”
Wolff noted that the WTO and AfCFTA are intertwined, as are all regional trade agreements since they all rest upon the rules of the multilateral trading system.
A challenge for African leaders and the 164 Members of the WTO is how best to harness the new energy from the AfCFTA and the re-dedication of the WTO under new leadership to recover the ground lost to development on the African continent during the pandemic.
“The time is overdue for Africa to gain solid benefit from both regional and global economic integration. This must remain a major objective for both Africa and the multilateral trading system in which Africa has a strong voice,” he said.