AfCFTA As an Opportunity for Economic integration of Africa

Participants in a panel discussion held Thursday in Rabat, as part of the 28th Regional Assembly of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie (APF), stressed the importance of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to accelerate the economic integration of Africa. Parliamentarians and officials have stressed the need to address the challenges faced by various African countries to make this area an opportunity to achieve the economic transformation of the continent. Speaking on this occasion, Nadia El Hnot, Director of Cooperation and Cultural Action at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans abroad, highlighted the role of the AfCFTA in the integration and the sustainable development of the continent, along with the opportunities that arise from the effective implementation of this area, in the context of the new global economy reconfiguration. The AfCFTA , she said, is a real advantage for the development of intra-African trade, especially in a post-covid context and multiple crises, making it imperative to develop Africa’s resilience. The African Continental Free Trade Area should focus on the development of Africa’s value chains to stimulate trade and promote the position of each member country, she said, adding that this area should be a catalyst for the “Made in Africa” brand. To achieve the effective implementation o the AfCstartedwhich started in January 2021, it is necessary to address infrastructure constraints, improve the business climate and establish national laws that meet the ambitions of an inclusive economic integration, El Hnot suggested. For their part, French-speaking parliamentarians presented the experiences of their respective countries in the operationalization of the AfCFTA, highlighting the challenges facing the continent to achieve a rapid implementation of the zone. Stressing that the AfCFTA is an opportunity for the integration of the continent, they noted that this space would strengthen the competitiveness of African products, and bring benefits in terms of trade consolidation. The Moroccan Parliament hosts until June 24 in Rabat, the 28th Regional Assembly of the APF which covers several topics including democracy; women’s participation in political, economic and social life; the involvement of parliamentarians of French-speaking Africa in environmental issues and climate change as well as the political, social and health situation in French-speaking African countries. Founded in 1967, the APF seeks to reflect the multiculturalism of the French-speaking world and its people. It brings together delegates from nearly 90 parliaments or interparliamentary organizations on five continents. The Moroccan Parliament joined the APF in 1979 and has hosted the works of some regional assemblies in Africa (19th in 2011, 25th in 2017, and 27th in 2019).