New Telegraph

MAN charges African leaders to resolve issues on AfCFTA

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has advised African leaders to think out of the box and fully operationalise the Pan- African Payment Platform in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. Particularly, the umbrella body of local manufacturers explained that it was time for the leaders to speedily resolve all outstanding issues that are germane to the effective implementation of Af- CFTA.

The President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Otunba Francis Meshioye, made this known in a chat with New Telegraph. He said that many trade associations in the continent, including that of Nigeria, believe that the time being spent on negotiations was causing African manufacturers to lose huge volume of products and revenue. According to him, with Af- CFTA in place, there are high expectations to expand the continent’s countries export market frontiers and promote cross border trade in Africa. Meshioye said: “I affirm that expectations are high and efforts are in top gear to expand our countries export market frontiers and promote cross border trade in Africa.

“The common threads that I have observed on the front burner of conversations among our members include the hope that AfCFTA will transform Africa to a prosperous continent, the desire to be competitive and readiness to trade in a rule-based environment. “Without doubt, we must now move beyond the completion of negotiations on schedule of tariff offers, finalisation of work on the Rules of Origin and fully operationalise the Pan-African Payment Platform.

“We should speedily resolve all outstanding issues that are germane to the effective implementation of AfCFTA. “As we brace up for Africa trade on implementation of AfCFTA today, we must all resolve to keep this monumental dream in our minds. We should ensure that we all continue to support the African Union and the AfCFTA Secretariat in the quest to evolve strategic approaches that will ensure that trading in the AfCFTA corridor stimulate inclusive development in Africa.”

He noted that this could be achieved through strategic framework that will facilitate inflow of investment into the continent!; inclusion of women, youth, innovation and technology development in the AfCFTA implementation roadmap; addressing macroeconomic environment, poor competitiveness and dearth of trade facilitation infrastructure prevailing in many African countries; ensuring the upscaling of trade in manufactured goods through improved industrial capacity; deliberate development of industrial inputs to reduce the intensity of reliance on the global supply chain Intentionally bringing down all the historical physical borders in Africa, facilitating peaceful co-existence and security of lives and property, as well as effective support for all organised private sector organisations in Africa, among others. While speaking on Pan-African Manufacturers Association (PAMA)’s activities and goals for AfCFTA, the MAN president said: “I will like to affirm that PAMA has centralized the objective of industrializing Africa; strengthening its members capacities across Africa; encouraging creation of value chain development cross border and in partnership with each other, and quite importantly, ensuring good quality and standards of our products in order to be competitive, both within and outside the continent. “However, I will like to state that PAMA will continue to monitor unfolding events around AfCFTA with great optimism. “We shall embark on capacity building for business promoters and partner with Governments as well as other stakeholders at the national, regional and continental levels to ensure gainful participation in the Continental trade.”

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