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AFCFTA The Vaccine to Redeem and Propel Africa Post COVID-19

As the world continues to grapple with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the year 2021, has commenced with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) becoming operational. The start of the AfCFTA is one of the most important steps made by Africa in its existence and creates a new direction that shakes the long effects of colonialism and foreign exploitation. Africa matches forward with confidence on a journey to economic independence which is the final struggle to liberation. Africa has an opportunity to fully achieve its potential by taking full advantage of the AFCFTA by allowing Africans work with fellow Africans. The effects of Covid 19 now present Africa with an existing opportunity to redeem its self and that of its people by fully embracing the advantage created by a 2 trillion US Dollar market with 1.2bn people. The start of the AfCFTA means business opportunities for millions of our people and creates new value chains for SME’s, leveraging the quest for industrialization.

The commencement of the AFCFTA provides fresh impetus for African entrepreneurs to enter new markets and provides an opportunity for the continent to enter into a new era of industrialization because trade will be duty free. Africa is in position to start trading on preferential terms with 54 countries out of 55 having signed and majority having ratified the AFCFTA to fulfill the objective of the ‘‘AFRICA WE WANT 2063 AGENDA’’. The starting of AFCFTA trading should now create an opportunity for us to harmonize our e commerce agenda and issues in Intellectual Property and competition law. The African trade gateway hub to be developed by the Afriexim bank should help traders across Africa access business opportunities and conduct due diligence on business across Africa as well as access credit from the Afriexim bank to support business and cross border trade.  The Afriexim bank is offering 40billion US Dollars with the start of the AFCFTA this year to support the implementation of the Africa Continental free Trade Area and will work with at least one bank to support intra African trade in each African Country. This should create opportunities for the financial sector in Uganda to support the AFCFTA and Africa’s industrialization Agenda.  According to the Economic commission for Africa, the AFCFTA will accelerate intra Africa trade by 25 to 35 % equivalent to 35billion dollars which will reverse the effects of covid 19 on the continent. The call by the Economic Commission for Africa to support countries develop implementation strategies for the AFCFTA should be welcomed by the Ugandan government as soon as possible in its agenda of taking advantage of the AFCTA.

Continued democratic inconsistences and human rights violations subjugate Africa’s efforts and struggle to redeem itself from economic subjugation and the effects of colonialism. We can no longer blame foreign subjugation. The future is in our hands.