• The Continental Free Trade Area has a population of 1.3 billion people with a value of US$3.4 trillion
• AfCFTA recognizes the need to drive trade and investment among African countries.
• This will lead to more jobs, greater wealth and improved welfare for citizens.
President Hakainde Hichilema says Zambia has resolved to maximize the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
In his Africa Freedom Day message, President Hichilema noted that this year’s theme which is, accelerating the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, recognizes the need to drive trade and investment among African countries to achieve strong and sustainable economic development.
The Head of State said this will lead to creation of more jobs, greater wealth and improved welfare for citizens, as well as provide access to regional and global markets for Zambian businesses.
“Political freedom must be accompanied by economic freedom and it is right that we mark Africa Freedom Day under the theme: Accelerating the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).”
“The Continental Free Trade Area has a population of 1.3 billion people with a value of US$3.4 trillion. We have resolved to maximize the benefits of the Continental Free Trade Area. We have already started improving our border facilities as we move towards non-stop border post throughout the region and the Continent,” President Hichilema stated.
He added that the country is also investing in trade related infrastructure such as roads, rail and air transport networks.
“To achieve economic freedom, government must be able to provide an attractive environment for private sector to grow. Through the Public Private Dialogue Forum and other platforms, we are promoting value addition for Zambian commodities and products,” he added.
President Hichilema further said government is positioning the country for a future where it becomes a net exporter of energy, agriculture and manufacturing of related goods and services.
“This will increase our export earnings and lead to stronger growth in our country. To realize the maximum benefits of the Continental Free Trade Area, we require the active participation of our youth together with other members of the community. We therefore encourage all stakeholders to ensure that the youth can take advantage of the opportunities presented by the Free Trade Area.”
“Our forefathers and mothers fought hard to attain political freedom, they sacrificed their lives to guarantee right to life. It therefore remains for us to promote economic emancipation of the whole of Africa and its people. The implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area provides this opportunity,” he said.