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ACBF seeks secretariat to successfully implement African free trade area

13 Jul, 2018

Abuja, 13 July 2018 -- The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) will work closely with the African Union (AU) to strengthen the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to enable it to operate effectively, Executive Secretary Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozie said.  There is also the need to set up an institutional mechanism to drive it at country level for a successful implementation, Prof. Nnadozie said at the 25th anniversary celebration of the African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank) in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

Without such a secretariat to ensure collaboration and coordination of its activities, the trade area would become nobody’s responsibility, he said. He described AFCFTA as a “major milestone in the trajectory of development in Africa and should be given the urgency and attention it requires,” adding:  “It will provide enormous benefits to the countries, regions and the continent.”

Prof. Nnadozie said it was encouraging that 44 countries had signed the agreement and six ratified it, but warned that African countries would not derive benefits from it if they do not prepare well to implement the agreement.

“It is one thing to sign, another thing to ratify; implementation is the hard work,” the Executive Secretary said. For example, he said ACBF was concerned that countries were still unable to derive maximum benefit of the opportunity 17 years after the Africa’s Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) allowing African countries duty-free export to the US.

The Foundation is also proposing to conduct an assessment of countries’ readiness to successfully implement the agreement, said Prof. Nnadozie. He said AfCFTA’s success would depend on partnership of stakeholders and therefore called on the private and public sectors to collaborate to make it work. (ACBF)

Thomas Kwesi Quartey

ACBF has been granted the status of a specialized agency because of the potential to transform Africa through capacity development.

H.E. Thomas Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson, AU Commission
Erastus Mwencha

The recognition of ACBF as the African Union’s Specialized Agency for Capacity Development launches the beginning of a new era for capacity building by ACBF, which will require an appropriate level of political commitment and financial support from all stakeholders.

H.E. Erastus Mwencha, Chair, ACBF Executive Board
Lamin Momodou

The remarkable achievements ACBF has registered over the past 26 years is not by accident in our opinion. They have come through hard work, dedication, commitment, purposeful leadership, support from the member countries as well as productive partnership building.

Mr. Lamin Momodou MANNEH, Director, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa
Goodall Gondwe

Africa needs ACBF as much, probably more now, than at the time it was created in 1991.

Hon. Goodall Gondwe, former Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance – Malawi
Ken Ofori Atta

Ghana’s partnership with ACBF is a tremendous blessing for us and therefore the opportunity for Ghana to host the 26th ACBF Board of Governors Meeting is something that we treasure.

Hon Ken Ofori Atta, Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance - Ghana