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PAP speaks on AfCFTA

Story by Wellington Makonese

ACCELERATION of the process to ratify the protocol to the treaty establishing the free movement of persons on the African continent has been cited as key in the actualisation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The Pan African Parliament Committee on Trade, Customs and Immigration sat this Thursday where it emerged that a series of legal and policy response frameworks have already been developed on migration issues and agreements establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to boost trade on the continent.

However, some countries still require the adoption and ratification of legal policy frameworks for the implementation and incorporation of regional labour standards and free movement of people to increase intra Africa Trade which is relatively low as compared to trade with other continents.

“We looked at the progress we have made on AfCFTA and Trade is still low between Africa than with other continents, so we have to look at the need for advocacy in the parliamentarians countries. There is a need for advocacy and the whole intention is to make sure that by 2025 Trade has to be very high,” said Chairperson Committee on Trade, Customs and Immigration (PAP), Hon Senator John Bonds Bideri.

Zimbabwe expects to venture into the continental trading block which presents an opportunity for industrial expansion.

Public Accounts and Audit Committee Pan African Parliament representative, Hon Tapiwa Mashakada said, “As a country, we are in the game though we still to start trading on the electronic platform, the key issue is we must have quality products that can have traction apart from that, we need to deal with our Customs so as to eliminate barriers to trade effectively.”

Zimbabwe is a member of the AfCFTA which creates a market of close to US$1.3 trillion and has a population of around 1.3 billion people.

Talks are in progress to reduce travelling barriers with Botswana through the elimination of passports, signifying the country’s willingness to enhance trade with the region.

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