UNECA Reaffirms its Commitment for Effective Implementation of AfCFTA


May 23/2021 ( ENA) The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) said it will continue to work closely with its member States, the African Union Commission and other key stakeholders towards the effective implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

According to press release sent to ENA, AfCFTA is expected to deepen and expand intra-African trade and help the continent build forward better in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Responding to Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau’s statement announcing funding of 15.2 million USD to the ECA’s African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC), Executive Secretary, Vera Songwe, said the AfCFTA provided an excellent policy framework for Africa to build inclusive and resilient economies post-COVID-19.

To make this happen, she noted, the ECA will continue to work on innovative ways to help address Africa’s development challenges by assisting countries and regions to domesticate the AfCFTA within their own realities to make it implementable.

“Canada’s on-going contribution to this trade-related technical assistance has enabled a significant expansion of ECA’s support to the AfCFTA process, particularly focusing on inclusion and gender equality as specific objectives of the grant agreement,” the Executive Secretary said.

UNECA was grateful for Canada’s continuing support to the ECA, particularly its work in the implementation of the AfCFTA agenda, she added.

ATPC Coordinator David Luke for his part said the grant will enable the Centre to carry out analytical work, training and capacity building interventions for reducing trade barriers within Africa.

Trudeau made the announcement at the recently concluded Summit on Financing African Economies that was hosted by President Emmanuel Macron of France, UNECA noted.

He said the Canadian funds will support the implementation of the AfCFTA, a key milestone in African economic integration that will create jobs and growth across the continent.

The AfCFTA is set to become the largest Free Trade Area (FTA) in the global economy, covering a market of 1.2 billion people with a combined GDP of 2.5 trillion USD, expected to reach 29 trillion USD by 2050.