The ANC hails the launching of the African Continental Free Trade Area as giant step forward in the realisation of one of the African Union’s flagship projects, under the tenure and the stewardship of President Ramaphosa as the then Chair of the AU. This remarkable achievement marks a turning point in Africa’s resolve to take charge and ownership of its economic development trajectory, sustainable economic growth and well-being of its people.
It seeks to boost intra- Africa trade which stands at approximately 16%, as well as 3% of the world trade share. Whilst building a biggest common market in Africa of over one billion people with an expected GDP of $ 2.6 trillion, expected to unlock industrial and infrastructure development as well as structural transformation in the continent.
Moreover, ACFTA will also provide a platform for South African businesses to expand into markets across the continent, as well as for locally-produced goods and services to find a way to such markets, thus creating job opportunities for South Africa unemployed. Hence, the ANC and its Government, including all South Africans are firmly behind the success and sustainability of ACFTA. The ANC makes a clarion calls to all countries and people of our continent to work together to resolve impediments and challenges that may stall the journey we already traverse in making this noble ideal a reality.
Forward ever, backward never
I thank you
From the Study Group of International Relations and Cooperation