The effective implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has the potential to unlock opportunities in Botswana’s development agenda, an official said.
“It has the potential of unlocking opportunities such as creating employment, diversifying the economy, putting Botswana in the global trade landscape and contributing to our drive to be an export-led economy,” said Dumezweni Mthimkhulu, Botswana’s acting minister of trade and industry, in his keynote address at the national consultative forum on the development of the AfCFTA implementation strategy for Botswana in its capital of Gaborone.
Mthimkhulu said AfCFTA will provide wider access for Botswana’s exports by facilitating access to inputs and raw materials needed for production and provide consumers with a wide choice of products at competitive prices.
AfCFTA will give the private sector in the southern African country the impetus to optimize on the greater, wider and more lucrative market, thus reducing reliance on traditional markets, Mthimkhulu said, adding that AfCFTA also provides the business community with access to new and dynamic markets on the continent including Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya and Rwanda.
“We need to change the way we do things if we are to graduate the country to a middle-income status by 2036,” said Mthimkhulu.
Botswana ratified the AfCFTA agreement in February 2023.