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AfCFTA: Movement of people vital to African free trade – UNECA

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AfCFTA: Movement of people vital to African free trade – UNECA

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has stated that the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) will not fully succeed unless there are policies for the free movement of people in the area.

This was disclosed by Ms Thokozile Ruzvidzo, Director, Gender, Poverty and Social Policy Division, UNECA on Tuesday during the Africa Regional Review of the Implementation of the Global Compact For Migration conference in Rabat, Morroco.

She added that the leading role of the Global Compact For Migration review and its other related initiatives all aimed to help Africa retain skills, improve migration data collection and assist in the implementation of the continent’s integration through facilitating portability of skills and qualifications as well as trade through the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).

“The AfCFTA cannot succeed if we do not look at the movement of people,” she said.

“We cannot only look at the movement of goods and services without looking at the movement of people.

Therefore, the Global Compact for Safe and Orderly Migration (GCM) is critical if the AfCFTA is to succeed.

“The objective of these meetings is to review the achievements that shall be made on the continent: look at good practices, challenges and opportunities that the countries have encountered in the implementation.”

Maureen Achieng, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Chief of Mission to Ethiopia and Representative to the African Union and UNECA, said that the Africa Continental Free Movement Protocol was at the heart of Africa’s regional integration agenda, as well as the African Union’s development ambitions in the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

In the last few years, there has been a proliferation of African solutions to Africa’s migration challenges and we can point to the continental free movement protocol, the AfCFTA as well as the Joint Labour Migration Programme.

“These three key policy decisions by the African Union give you a sense of Africa’s commitment to an integrated continent that facilitates rather than impedes a movement of the African people,” she added.

What you should know

In July 114 new standards of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) had been approved by the Federal Government to boost economic growth for trade, as Nigeria prepared for free continental trade.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo. The Minister stated that the new standards cut across various sectors of the economy such as civil and building engineering, food technology, mechanical, liquefied petroleum gas, as well as energy management systems, in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s Agenda on Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

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