Mohamed Abdel Rahman, the head of the trade committee of the Egyptian Junior Business Association (EJB), said the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will offer jobs for more than one billion and a half people with an expected trade exchange worth $3.4 trillion.
In statements to SEE, Abdel Rahman noted the entry of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement into force, which was supposed to be launched in July 2020, was delayed due to the coronavirus crisis.
Abdel Rahman stated the long-term agreement integrates 55 African markets took 40 years to reach full integration and cooperation among the African countries.
He pointed out that most of the African states fully depend on imports from outside the continent, a matter which increases the poverty rates and badly affects the supply chains, a matter which was clear during the coronavirus crisis.
“The implementation of the agreement faces many major challenges, topped by linking the African markets with the African producers and the product with the consumer,” the head of EJB trade committee said, adding the trade exchange among the African countries is difficult, but the Africans have the ability to render the agreement successful according to well-planned studies.
He underlined that the problems would emerge by the beginning of the agreement implementation, pointing to some countries’ concerns about opening their markets for the neighboring countries.
He also referred to another problem which is the dependency of African countries on goods from China, Europe, and the United States, which faced many problems during the lockdown period, a matter which negatively affected the trade exchange between the African countries and the foreign ones.