In support of the African Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the European Union pledged 40 million euros in the continent to attract new investment. With the measure, both the EU and the African Union hope to create at least 10 million new job opportunities. The project will start in 2021.
The investment was announced by the European Union ambassador to the African Union, Ranieri Sabatucci. According to him, the interest of a rapprochement between the two organizations has been manifested since the creation of the AfCFTA was announced.
“Our support for the AfCFTA has a lot to do with our history. It was through the establishment of the free trade area and customs union and the single market that the last 60 years have become the longest period of peace, economic growth, and prosperity in our continent,” he said
With this, the European Union hopes that this investment will enable African countries to export more and attract investment, especially in the manufacturing and processing sectors.
The African Union executive secretary, Vera Songwe, recalled that the East African region has shown accelerated growth and already has more than 600 million inhabitants. The numbers registered, however, have not yet turned into prosperity and poverty reduction.
“The AfCFTA is an economic development program anchored around creating regional and continental champions, accelerating infrastructure development, energy and harmonizing Africa’s integration platforms. We must now move with speed to implement the AfCFTA and reap the benefits of the agreement,” she said.
“We believe that trade and integration will be one of the solutions to the challenges in the region”
Vera also stressed that it is of great importance that African countries strive to establish peace and stability as a way to strengthen ties with local private sectors and stimulate continental trade. “We believe that trade and integration will be one of the solutions to the challenges in the region s,” Songwe concluded.