Adding Value to Natural Resources to Boost Trade and Reduce the Deficit – AfCFTA Secretariat to African Governments


The African Continental Free Trade Area secretariat urges African countries to focus on the production of consumer goods in order to discourage the importation of goods into the continent.

According to the Secretariat’s chief technical adviser, Prudence Sebahizi, the trade deficit can be resolved when African countries add value to their exported resources.

Speaking at the quarterly banking roundtable at ABSA-UPSA Law School, he said African countries should have a strong economic structure that will facilitate trade finance.

“Most African countries export unprocessed products, but import finished products, which means they get less of what they export in return. The solution is that we add value to what we produce, ”he said.

Commenting on the intra-African trade among African countries, he said that it is currently very low, adding that there is a need for countries in the sub-region to trade with each other to solve the problem of exchange rate fluctuations.

“The level of intra-African trade is very low which is less than 20%. This means that we import over 80% of what we consume. In doing so, we lose twice as a continent, so the value of our currencies depreciates because of the many imports we make, ”he added.

The African Continental Free Trade Area aims to accelerate intra-African trade and subsequently strengthen Africa’s trade position in the global market by strengthening Africa’s common voice and political space in negotiations global trade. The secretariat, with an economic bloc of $ 3.4 trillion, is pushing for continent-wide free trade for $ 1.3 billion people, regardless of the challenges, including bad roads and


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