Nigeria’s Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, has said the AfCFTA – African Continental Free Trade Area – offers limitless opportunities for the industrialization of the continent. The Vice-President urged authorities across the continent to take the right actions to actualize industrialization. He noted that such actions include the protection of local industries and improving value chains.
Osinbajo said this in a message he delivered at a roundtable on industrialization in Africa with the theme: Positioning African Industries for Economic Transformation and Continental Free Trade, organised by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) to celebrate its Golden Jubilee on Thursday, as reported in the DAILY POST.
He said: “For certain, the AfCFTA is indispensable, if industrial development is to take off in Africa, because it offers wider markets and economies of scale which are essential for manufacturing to be competitive.”
“We must take policy actions to create an environment in which businesses can thrive. To start with, we must adopt the right type of macroeconomic and industrial policies.”
“It is important for African governments to provide a stable macroeconomic environment which avoids and smoothens out volatility in prices, sharp deteriorations in the current account and budget deficits and of course, rapid accumulation in debt burdens.”
Speaking on actions that will boost manufacturing, Prof. Osinbajo said: “On the industrial side, policies, like tariffs, quotas, subsidies and non-tariff barriers, which protect our infant industries so that they can create jobs and enable learning, are vital.
“Well negotiated rules of origin are important in the context of the free trade agreements as they are key to preventing trans-shipment and the deflection of trade. Without them, firms from non-state parties could set up simple labelling operations in one member-state with a view to shipping already finished products to another member-state without really adding any value.”