Mozambique, South Africa plan AfCFTA links
By Tasie Theodore
To enable them fully maximise the opportunity offered by the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, Mozambique and South Africa are planning improved trade and project links going forward.
This is based on an understanding that partnerships on mega projects would be critical to the success of the African Free Trade Agreement.
Speaking in a Virtual Trade and Investment Seminar convened to address the issue, the South African High Commissioner to Mozambique, Mr. Mandisi Mpahlwa outlined the fact that this was going to be quite critical if AfCFTA was to succeed.
“If we cannot be able to have these major projects that are going to help to integrate our continent, this agreement is going to be dead in the water. We have had a good account on the Maputo Development Corridor and the key issue to highlight is the importance of government leadership to crowd in the private sector and unlock economic potential using public-private partnerships,” the envoy said.
The overal theme of the session was Developing Afrocentric solutions and forging partnership in response to COVID-19 and more than 360 businesspeople attended the webinar that was focused on trade and investment opportunities available in Mozambique and also discussed strategic issues regarding Mozambique’s investment plans to stimulate the country’s economic growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the close of the session, the Chief Director of Trade Invest Africa, a division of the dtic, Mr. John Rocha, announced that five working groups had been established to further the process.
“The five working groups are on agriculture and agro-processing, natural gas, electricity and power, transport and logistics infrastructure, and trade and investment. We have also agreed to mainstream within these working groups, the financing element and industrialisation component in terms of the regional value chains that can be developed and created,” Rocha revealed.
The secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area is domiciled in Accra, Ghana and the first phase of the project comes into effect from January 1, 2021. 54 of Africa’s 55 states have signed up for the treaty while 30 of them have ratified it.
Mr. Wamkele Mene, AfCFTA Secretary General