Ex-Ecowas economic policy prexy delighted by AfCFTA


By Momodou Darboe

A former President of Economic Policy in Ecowas Parliament, Abdoulie Suku Singhateh, has described the roll-out of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement as a major break-through in unlocking the many ‘great’ natural and human resources potentials of Africa.

After years of preparations and Covid-affected plans, the largest free trade area was finally born on New Year’s Day to create a single market for goods and services with hopes of bolstering trade among nations of Africa of 1.2 billion with a combined GDP of $3 trillion.


“I’m quite delighted and positive about the agreement because it has potentials of creating jobs for our people, spur industrialization, make our borders fluid and is also out to eliminate tariffs on intra-Africa goods in significant magnitude,” Singhateh, who served as member of the Customs, Trade and Free Movement of Peoples and Goods at the Ecowas Parliament said.

But while hailing the birth of AfCFTA as a milestone in the search for greater regional integration, Mr. Singhateh is of the opinion that only creative strategies could lead to the optimal utilization of the opportunities provided by the agreement.

“I think The Gambia can lessen the burden of unemployment, enhance growth in the agriculture sector, the creative and service industries, stem the perturbing trend of irregular migration, amongst others, by devising well-crafted strategies to tap the plethora of benefits of the agreement,” the former chair of Parliamentary Agriculture Committee advised.

Meanwhile Hon. Singhateh, a former political adviser and special envoy of a one-time Guinea Bissau interim president Cherifo Numajo, recently returned from Niamey, Niger where he took part in the Ecowas Short Term Observer Mission in that country’s first round of presidential election.

Forty candidates contested but Muhamed Bazoum and Muhamane Ousman will meet in the second round of the polls.

“The turnout in Niamey was good and people came out as early as 8am to vote but my major concern was about the relaxation of the mask-wearing regulation of Covid-19 during the exercise,” Singhateh, who served as member of Ecowas monitoring teams in presidential elections in Ghana, Togo, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, amongst others, told The Standard in an exclusive interview over the weekend.