#Editorial

Let’s eliminate trade barriers in the sub-region!

Mar 30, 2021, 10:31 AM

Despite the coming into force on 1st January 2021 of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), obstacles still persists in ensuring the free flow of goods and services within the continent.

It is a fact that in this era, no country will achieve meaningful development in the absence of a vibrant business sector.

For many years, trading in businesses and services on the continent has been bisected with numerous obstacles. This to some extent has led to significant losses in driving the continent’s agenda.

AfCFTA is one of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063, representing a critical step in the journey of Africa towards the operationalisation of an integrated market that is meant to culminate in the formation of an African economic community, in accordance with the Abuja treaty.

A delegation from Mali was recently in Banjul to explore different avenues of expanding road transportation between the two countries was part of the Malian delegation’s mission.

The move is not only important but timely; taking into account the move was long overdue. It would further bolster business ties between The Gambia and Mali.

As nations move closer to greater integration, let’s us not be left in the dark. The two countries have a lot to gain in this endeavour.

The signing of the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area is seen as a landmark historical achievement that signals the crossing of an important milestone in the continent’s long regional integration history.

But going by the look of things, it appears that some nations, seems to be acting like a stumbling block in the actual realisation of this trade agreement.

There should be stricter measures in place to deter countries, who did not comply with the rule and regulations governing free flow of goods and services. Until then, this continental initiative would be just a lip service.

We want to see to it that buses travelling from Mali to The Gambia enjoy free trade movement between the two countries.

This cooperation and collaboration with Mali has the potentials to move the existing trade ties to another level in terms generating revenue collection.

Therefore, countries in the sub-region should put an end to transit trade barriers in the sense that no country can develop in the absence of a vibrant economy. Let’s take a cue from European Union by promoting intra- African trade.

"Globalization and free trade do spur economic growth,and they lead to lower prices on many goods."

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