The key factors that will drive Africa’s economic growth and development are liberalization of the economies and facilitation of free movement of people across the continent, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) has said.
Addressing the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) of the African Union in Kigali, Rwanda, Dr Dlamini-Zuma said it was imperative for countries to cooperate and open up the market.
“The world is moving towards mega trading blocks, that all exclude us, and the Doha development round of negotiations have failed to even start. Unless we unite to form our African common market, the little bit of preferential trade we have at the moment, will be further eroded,” she said.
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The AUC Chairperson mentioned that business operators, farmers, and entrepreneurs are still hungry of the free market and this has created a negative impact on the continent’s economic growth since competing at international market is still a challenge.
“If we continue building momentum on the continental free movement of people and on the Continental Free Trade Area it will create better conditions for our traders, farmers, business, entrepreneurs and innovators to invest trade with each other and build Pan African companies and brand,” Dr Dlamini-Zuma noted.
The African Union (AU) Passport about to be launched will create a favorable condition for free movement of African people within the continent.
The move is aimed at facilitating free movement of persons, goods, and services around the continent – in order to foster intra-Africa trade, integration, and socio-economic development.