The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) commenced on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021.
Brief Fact About the AfCFTA
The AfCFTA is an initiative that encourages intra-regional trade in Africa. The goal is to make the African Continent, the largest free trade area in the global economy.
The AfCFTA is a a decision taken by the Heads of States and governments of the African Union. The Federal Government of Nigeria ratified Nigeria’s membership in AfCFTA in November, 2020.
The effective date of the AfCFTA ought to have been July, 2020. Unfortunately, the due date became dormant as a result of the pandemic and it was subsequently postponed to the 1st day of January, 2021.
The Mixed Feelings About AFCFTA
Irrespective of the manifest benefits of the AfCFTA, stakeholders in Nigeria have expressed mixed feelings on the AfCFTA especially with regards to the issue of comparative advantage and turning Nigeria into a dumping ground for cheaper imported goods.
The Director General, LCCI, Dr. Muda Yusuf, noted that with the AfCFTA in place,
The business landscape will change and many investment assumptions will have to be reviewed to ensure sustainability.
He further encouraged the Nigerian private sector to take advantage of the market which the AfCFTA presents.
On comparative advantage, some stakeholders believe that since Nigeria is a non-producing country, the Nation will become open for all kinds of goods to come in. This is corroborated by the fact that we import most of our raw materials from outside Nigeria and the foreign exchange rates increases daily.
Nevertheless, we hope that the position the position of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, will be the Nation’s portion. He stated thus
For Nigeria, the gains are significant. The AFCFTA will expand market access for Nigeria’s exporters of goods and services, spur growth and boost job creation. It will eliminate the barriers against Nigeria’s products, provide a dispute settlement mechanism for stopping the hostile and discriminatory treatment directed against Nigerians, safeguard the Nigerian economy from dumping and unfair trade practices among others.
How do you feel about the AfCFTA, let us know your thoughts. Meanwhile, catch up with us on our latest gist 45 Years Old Nigerian man dies after finding out his two children weren’t his