AU launches three flagship projects towards “accelerated integration” of Africa
Addis Ababa, Jan. 26, 2018 (AltAfrika) -The African Union (AU) will today in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian capital, launch three “flagship projects” during its summit, which will according to the AU chairperson, Mousa Faki will ” help accelerate Africa’s integration”.
The three projects include the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), the free movement of persons and goods, and the implementation of Yamoussoukro decision on the single market and liberalisation of air transport in Africa.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) estimated that the CFTA has the potential to boost intra-Africa trade by 53.2 percent by eliminating import duties and to double such trade if non-tariff barriers are also reduced.
“Consolidating this continent into a single trade area provides great opportunities for trading enterprises, businesses and consumers across Africa and the chance to support sustainable development in the world’s least developed region,” said Vera Songwe, Executive secretary of UNECA, at the council meeting.
The AU heads of states adopted a decision in January 2012 to establish the CFTA with an indicative date of 2017.
The launch of SAATM (Single African Air Transport Market), is expected to bring more opportunities in the area of trade, cross-border investments in the production and service industries including tourism.
It is also expected to create additional 300,000 direct and 2 million indirect jobs according AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy Amani Abou-Zeid in a statement released by the pan-African bloc on Monday. It will contribute immensely to the integration and socioeconomic growth of the continent, said Abou-Zeid.
So far, 23 African countries out of 55 have subscribed to SAATM , whereas 44 African countries have signed the Yamoussoukro Decision.