Addressing a high-level conference in Accra of African Ministers of State, diplomats, policymakers, and business executives, who are discussing ways of fast-tracking the implementation of the AfCFTA, Dr. Bawumia said even though the AfCFTA has set the stage for the transformation of Africa, its full prospects can only be realized through decisive steps by key African stakeholders, and a focus on some key broad areas he proposed.
Africa needs $170 billion annually to bridge infrastructure gap — Bawumia
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has proposed three broad areas of focus, which he believes will help the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to bring about the transformation Africa needs.
"Like the vision of our forebears, the African Continental Free Trade Area has set the stage for Africa’s industrialization drive, but, it will take concrete, strategic actions by governments and businesses on the continent, the right mix of policies, a greater sense of purpose for more robust intra-African trade to happen to support economic diversification and the much-needed industrialization of the continent," he said.
"To bring about the transformation we need, I propose three broad areas that we need to prioritize," he added.
These investments, Dr. Bawumia noted, will be critical to delivering the success of the AfCFTA.
The second proposal the Vice President made "is to unleash the productive capacities across the continent."
Dr. Bawumia added that the third broad area of focus should be mobilizing finance and investments.
"Africa needs between US$ 130 billion and US$ 170 billion annually to bridge its infrastructure gap and generate sustainable growth at 5% per annum or more. This presents immense opportunities for the private sector investment," he noted.
Attracting private sector participation through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) is, therefore, essential for the delivery of various infrastructure projects. Furthermore, there is a need for innovative policies to mobilize and allocate resources more effectively, and for better coordination amongst all African stakeholders and international partners, he stated.
While bemoaning Africa's limited intra-African trade, as well as the continent's low contribution to global trade, Dr. Bawumia expressed optimism that effective implementation of AfCFTA will create greater opportunities for Africa to reverse the unfortunate situation.
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