The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will provide business opportunities that will enable African countries to lift citizens of the continent out of poverty post COVID-19, John Rocha, Chief Director, Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) Trade and Invest Africa said.
He was speaking during a virtually held outward trade and investment seminar, held on November 25 and 26, which aimed to increasing bilateral trade and investment between Ethiopia and South Africa.
Rocha said,strengthening bilateral trade relations between South Africa and Ethiopia was a critical step that would be mutually beneficial to both economies, adding that South Africa’s strategic relationship with Ethiopia rested on three pillars – industrialisation, infrastructure development and strengthening bilateral and intra-Africa trade.
Rocha added that the AfCFTA was a critical foundation upon which intra-Africa trade should be built, saying that it represented an opportunity for African countries to boost growth, reduce poverty and broaden economic inclusion.
He described his country as a place endowed with great diversity of plant, animal and microbial genetic resources and one of the fastest growing economies in the world with a 10 percent growth average over the past 14 years.
He highlighted textiles and apparel, an integrated sugar industry, agroprocessing and pharmaceuticals as some of the priority sectors the country had identified for industrial development.