Extending its support to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), the European Union (EU) Commission has proposed US$44.8bn to attract investments that are set to create around 10mn jobs in Africa
Ranieri Sabatucci, EU ambassador to the African Union (AU), has announced this in an opening address to a two-day Horn of Africa AfCFTA forum focusing on the pharmaceutical industry.
To prepare for this, economic partnership agreements including the deep and comprehensive free trade areas and others in North African countries and other trade issues with the EU should be exploited to the greatest extent as building blocks to the benefit of the AfCFTA.
The ambition is to further increase African exports and to attract investment in manufacturing and processing sectors and to encourage the creation of regional value chains through flexible rules of origin.
“The US$44.8bn of grants under the new Africa-European Alliance for Jobs and Growth is proposed as from 2021-2027 and is predicted to be US$64bn in the next 10 years, creating over 16mn jobs in the process,” he commented.
Vera Songwe, executive secretary, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), said, “The AfCFTA is an economic development programme anchored around creating regional and continental champions, accelerating infrastructure development, energy and harmonising Africa’s integration platforms. We must now move with speed to implement the AfCFTA and reap the benefits of the agreement.’’
The theme of the forum, which was organised by the ECA, the Government of Ethiopia, the African Union Commission (AUC) and EU is “AfCFTA Implementation: Breaking Down Geographical, Logistical and Regulatory Barriers to Trade and Investment in the Horn to Boost Industrialisation: A Focus on the Pharmaceutical Industry.”