African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) does not only seek Africa’s economic transformation but also arguably Africa’s most significant pursuit of the peace and security aspirations of Agenda 2063.
Mr Wakele Mene, Secretary-General, AfCFTA said, for them, the equitable distribution of the gains of the AfCFTA would be at the centre of its implementation.
Mr Mene speaking on the 8th Annual London School of Economics (LSE) Africa Summit, he said, “if the AfCFTA is perceived to be benefiting only a handful of relatively industrialised countries in Africa, and a handful of African Multinational Corporations, it shall be rejected by Africans, and deservedly so.”
The Summit is on theme: “: “African Prosperity Through Peace, Health, and Development.”
He said the theme, as had been highlighted, acknowledged the interdependence of peace, health, and development, while interrogating the ways they supported and relied on one another.
He said importantly, the theme resonated with what the African Union was trying to achieve with Agenda 2063: “Africa we want; an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.”
He said to ensure that no group, sector, or country felt marginalised or excluded from the benefits of the AfCFTA, it would help to address the root causes of conflicts, give hope to their citizenry, and set them on the road towards prosperity, seizing this century as theirs.
“I believe there is no better forum to address this than among young African scholars like you who represent the future and the promise of Africa,” he said.
The Secretary-General said Africa’s vision for development to build an integrated, peaceful, and prosperous Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena, was embedded in the AU’s Agenda 2063.
“An integrated, more prosperous, and peaceful Africa is in everyone’s interest. Like a global public good, it will translate into more trade and investment, more jobs, and more security for all,” he added
He said there could be no alternative to a prosperous, inclusive, and integrated Africa and the continent could not move forward without silenced guns and good governance on the continent.