Leaders from the private sector in Africa have called for the swift implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to ensure its success in promoting regional trade. They emphasized the need for the agreement to move from being just an idea to a tangible reality.

Private sector leaders at the ongoing second edition of the Feed Africa Summit in Dakar, Senegal, have called for the immediate implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to unlock and liberalize intra-African supply chain processes and achieve food sufficiency in the region. The leaders, including John Coumantaros, Chairman of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Gora Seck, President of Ferme de la Teranga, and Ahmed Abdellatif, President of CTC Group, emphasized the need for the AfCFTA to move from an idea on paper to a reality in order to enable seamless trade among African countries. They also highlighted the need to address logistics bottlenecks and review fiscal frameworks to provide incentives for intra-African trade. The African Development Bank has committed $10 billion to its Feed Africa project over the next five years in order to make the continent a food basket of the world.

The ex-deputy governor of Kenya City stated the need to improve the investment environment, address rent-seeking, and standardize regulations. He urged for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to begin immediately to strengthen African trade connections, and for leaders to focus on commonalities rather than differences among countries in the region. The panelist also called for greater collaboration among private sector companies in developing alternative energy.

The Chairman of Flour Mills emphasized the need for Africa to double its food production in the next 25 years to avoid a crisis and suggested more investment in agronomic services to improve yields. He also proposed locally producing solar panels to decrease the cost of access to alternative energy for farmers. The Liberian Minister of Agriculture regretted that Africa waited for the Russia-Ukraine War to focus on self-sufficiency, and stressed that food sufficiency is not enough if African countries do not control the production, processing, and distribution of their food. This sentiment was a recurrent theme at the summit.

Source: Guardian News

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