Africa can have a piece of global trade through AFCFTA integration. Through the integration AFCFTA the continent can diversify in its trade and cut down the dependency of the East and West that is currently affecting the continent negatively. This is according to UNCTAD Secretary General Rebeca Grynspan.
“The African continental Free Trade Agreement is a great opportunity for Africa’s sustainable and inclusive growth. Integration through regionalization will make Africa stronger to get into the global economy,” says Rebeca
Africa has been on the road to recovery from COVID-19 shocks of lockdowns and business closures . Many economies across the continent have opened up and business is as usual as was during pre-pandemic. However these recoveries have been short-lived as they were met by the Russia –Ukraine war that began in February. Many African nations depend on the two nations for imports in oil and food products like wheat and the ongoing war is threatening the food and mobility of many.
“What is happening is very sad, we expected 2022 to be a recovery year but as it is 2022 will be a bad year and will be a bad year because of the war in Ukraine. Many African economies especially in North Africa depend on Ukraine and Russia for grain and oil to feed their nations. Now that the two are at war, Africa suddenly has to source for these commodities elsewhere which is difficult.
“Many families across the globe not only in Africa are really having to take the decision of either putting gasoline on the car to be able to get to work or feed their families. Incomes and lives are being depleted especially the most vulnerable people and that is why the UN has put together this global crisis response group, because we are very aware of the effect that this can have on households,” Rebeca reiterates.
Before the pandemic hit, the continent had experienced rapid economic growth, but it was hardly inclusive since the gains were not distributed fairly across society. While AfCFTA aims at opening a $3.4 trillion borderless market economic growth has to be inclusive to reduce both poverty and inequality
“UNCTAD is very strong on policy trademarks, we adapt to the condition we find in a country as we help it attract quality investment for short and long term needs of these countries. We help countries in all aspects of trade from digital economy, infrastructure, logistics to help them create better trade policies to benefit them,” affirms Rebeca