Minister of International Cooperation Rania el Mashat said the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is meant to boost economies of the continent, with its 1.3 billion inhabitants and a total GDP of $3.4 trillion.
This can represent a driving force for sustainable recovery, inclusive growth, and overcoming the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic in Africa, she added.
The minister made the remarks during a speech she delivered at a dialogue session entitled “Africa in the age of new trade wars” that was held as part of the Africa CEO Forum. The forum started on September 28 and concluded on Thursday.
The minister said a report released by the World Bank forecasted that AfCFTA would contribute to lifting 68 million African people, who live on less than $5.5 a day, out of poverty.
The report also predicted that AfCFTA would improve the competitiveness of economies, stimulate productivity, and achieve sustainable and inclusive growth on the continent, she added.
According to the report, the free trade area is set to lift approximately 30 million Africans out of extreme poverty, she noted.
Meanwhile, Mashat said African countries can overcome challenges such as poor infrastructure and logistical constraints through e-commerce and digital transformation.
She added that the activation of the African Continental Free Trade Area constitutes a key factor for sustainable growth and recovery in Africa.
Source: State Information Service Egypt