‘Trade is a key instrument of economic integration and social development’

Friday, March 15, 2019

The minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment has highlighted that trade is a key instrument of economic integration and social development, acknowledging that it can also foster the country’s integration with the rest of Africa.

Amadou Sanneh was speaking at a sensitisation forum designed for parliamentarians on Africa Union Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

It is barely a year since African countries signed the AfCFTA and the signing of the AfCFTA marks an important beginning of Africa’s journey towards the ‘Africa We Want.’

Minister Sanneh continued: “We must travel together if we are to achieve the development of our continent”.

The AfCFTA , he said, is aimed at integrating Africa’s markets and also positioning the continent to exploit its numerous trade and investment opportunities and contribute positively towards the structural transformation of African economies.

“The objective is to achieve a comprehensive and mutually beneficial trade agreement among the member states of the African Union, which will realise the potential to expand and accelerate the growing diversification and dynamism of intra-Africa trade. The AfCFTA offers The Gambia an enlarged market of over 1.2 billion consumers and therefore investors in The Gambia enjoy economies of scale in their operations,” he said.

For his part, Hon. Billay G. Tunkara, vice chairman of the Select Committee on Trade at the National Assembly, said the agreement is one of the flagship projects of the agenda 2063 of the African Union.

Hon. Tunkara noted that 52 countries have signed the agreement and there are 18 countries, who have deposited instruments of ratification with the AU Commission.

“Our wish is to ensure that The Gambia is part of the 22 countries that mark the history of the AfCFTA.”

Deputy clerk, Legislature Business and Programmes at the National Assembly, Daniel Cardos maintained that the ratification of the agreement is to strengthen local content so as to benefit from the themes that the agreement intend to yield for African countries in particular The Gambia.

Author: Fatou Dem