The Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA), Wamkele Mene, has remarked that the creation of Customs Directorate and coordination is to fight trans-shipment of goods into the continent.
Mene, who made the remark at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair Special African day, with the theme “Boosting intra-African Trade, explained that trans-shipment may never be eliminated completely, but “we can indeed make it difficult for it to happen by diligently enforcing rules of origin that we all agree to.
“Fighting trans-shipment is my main priority. AfCFTA must not lead to job losses.”
Noting that the Lagos Chamber has a lot to offer, Mene called for involvement of the private sector for the success of the implementation of the intra African trade and to represent its interest.
Adding that the Chamber has a lot to offer in the implementation of the AFCFTA, he noted that small entrepreneurs are the drivers of transit of goods and services, they are the drivers of the implementation of the intra African trade, and so should not be under estimated.
On her part, president of the chamber, this year’s edition of the Africa Day celebration, with the theme: “Boosting Intra-African Trade”, is specifically designed to showcase Africa’s potential in natural resource endowment, rich culture, large market, and promote innovations in goods, services, science, and technology. “We believe that Intra-African trade, networking, capacity building, and technology transfer are critical to facilitating the integration of African economies.”
The trade agreement was borne out of the need to deepen economic integration in Africa, considering the low level of intra-regional trade volume with other continents like America, Europe, and Asia.
She added that no doubt, AfCFTA has the potential to accelerate the socio-economic development of the African continent, noting that a well-implemented AfCFTA will stimulate economic growth through linkage opportunities in trade, commerce, and industry to generate job opportunities, and help to facilitate the economic diversification of African economies.
Countries representatives like Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Rywanda, Serra Leone talked about the investment opportunities in the various countries and encouraged Nigerian investors to invest.