The political Economist, Miyelan Mkhabela was invited on the NewzRoom Africa 405 to comment on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement's gains for African States and the possible problems that may hit the continent.
It was highlighted that the African Continental Free Trade area was signed by the African States in 2018.Its reported that forty-four heads of state from the African continent took part in the signing of the Free Trade Agreement.
The aim of doing this was to create a single continental market for goods and services with enabled free movement of business people and investments. A report was given that the African continent may suffer a GDP loss of close to US$200 billion as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. There is a possibility according to the NewzRoom Africa that losses incurred in 2020 may stretch over to the year 2021.
Miyelan was asked to comment whether there are opportunities or challenges that will come with the Free Trade Agreement for the African continent considering that 90 percent of the payers are Small to Medium Enterprises.
He was asked to comment on the issue of cross border trading which is already drowning in pools of problems and how the possible challenges will be overcome with the introduction of the Free Trade Agreement .In response, the economist Miyelan said that he foresees more business opportunities than challenges.
He spoke about many Africa countries depending on importing food from outside the continent, such as Angola , Nigeria, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.He said that in 2019 , Africa imported US$40-billion worth of food.He would add that there is an estimation that by 2030 , the African will be importing US$90-billion worth of food.
He added that with the Free Trade Agreement in place , the African leaders must look at these figures and try to work toward reversing them.He added that the small retailers will benefit from the Free Trade Agreement and more goods and services will be produced in Africa and hence lesser need for imports.
Still moving on , the political economist Miyelan Mkhabela added that the Free Trade Agreement will enable the African countries to work together and hence focus on food security and the textile industry amongst other things.Africa is known for importing its textile and food, but the latest agreement will enable the nations to turn this around.
On the textile industry, Miyelan added that the African Continent can make use of its celebrities to market its products.He added that Africa may make use of its potential in the textile industry by for example making it Africans that are responsible for dressing all the sportswear of the African national teams.
He added that the African teams may choose to be dressed by African brands through the Free Trade Agreement, hence food and the textile sector must be the priority.
He went on and highlighted that the Free Trade Agreement will enable Africa Infrastructure to be enhanced.When Miyelan was asked to comment on Free Trade Agreement will benefit the cross border trading, the financial system and the education sector, he said that he can see many opportunities being created.
He said that the Free Trade Agreement must be used to benefit the African continent through the provision of food and the textile material amongst other things.He added that Africa needs to have a closer look at the type of imports that it makes and work around providing what they import.
Source : NewzRoom Africa 405
Watch : https://youtu.be/hr2rzeKY-aw
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