The Intra-African Connect, an organization committed to promoting and enabling Intra-African Trade and investment on Good Friday lauded the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
The agreement commits countries to removing tariffs on 90 per cent of goods, and to liberalise services as well as create a trade bloc of 1.2 billion people with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of more than $2 trillion.
A statement issued by Intra-African Connect, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra said the private sector players from across the continent had engaged Heads of States, the African Union and policy makers on matters that formed the basis for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement reality.
The statement said a simple analysis of the ratios of Gross National Income (GNI) against Gross Domestic Product (GDP) show that African countries are not trading with themselves, hence not generating adequate domestic income.
According to the Intra-African Connect statement, comparing GNI and GDP shows whether a nation’s resources were put to capital creation or declining toward abroad.
The statement said it was unfortunate that most African Nations and governments were engaged in a negative sum game, evident by huge budget deficits, borrowing, and industrial development lag.
The statement said Africa needs a paradigm shift in its view of African economics saying “Africa’s economic principle should be Abundance and Management’ as opposed to ‘Scarcity and Choice’ . Africa enjoys an abundance of resources and people”.
“It is time to put our heads together and leverage on what one African country can offer the other, and how we can effectively manage what we have within the continent,” the statement said.
The Intra-Africa Connect through trade events like the Kenya Trade Expo in Ghana, has identified challenges to Intra-Africa Trade such as free movement of goods and people, a vacuum in logistics structures to enable intra-African trade, as well as lack of access to trade financing.