President Highlights Significance of African Free Trade Area to Peace, Development

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Addis Ababa October 21/2020 (ENA) President Sahle-Work Zewde highlighted the significance of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in revitalizing pan-Africanism for sustainable peace and development.

The president made the remark on Tuesday at the opening of the 9th High-Level Tana Forum being held virtual under the theme “The AfCFTA: Revitalizing Pan Africanism for Sustainable Peace and Development in Africa”.

Projected to boost economic development by bringing together 55 African economies to form the worlds’ largest trading bloc, when fully operationalized the AfCFTA will account for USD 3.4 trillion.

The president stressed the need to consider the transformative positive impact that the AfCFTA promises.

 “We are in the midst of turbulent times. The health and economic challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have negatively impacted the global economy,” she noted.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the multifaceted disruptions that it caused have “shown us the importance and value of inter-Africa trade more than ever before”, Sahle-Work added.

She also underscored the importance of Tana Forum for promoting African solutions to continental security issues.

The forum promotes African-led solutions by holding discussions on the strategic and pro-active management of African peace and security issues.

The Forum complements formal meetings of African heads of state and government by assembling them in an informal, collaborative environment.