22.2 C
City of Banjul
Sunday, March 3, 2024
spot_img
spot_img

Transportation issue must be addressed for AfCFTA to work- Joof tells Ghana forum

- Advertisement -

By Mariatou Ngum

For The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to work for the continent, the issue of transportation and logistics must be addressed, according to the Gambian Minister of Trade Industry, Regional Integration and Employment Mr Babubacar Ousmaila Joof.

Mr Joof said this at the just concluded second Africa Prosperity Dialogue held in Ghana, where he represented His Excellency President Adama Barrow.

- Advertisement -

The forum was held from 25th to 27th January 2024. According to him, addressing the above factors would reduce trade cost and make the continent attractive to trade and investors. He expressed belief that the Africa Prosperity Dialogue provides an interactive platform within the business environment and ecosystem that can lead to achieving this objective.

Mr Joof opined that businesses and governments need to work together, and that policies need to be crafted and harmonised in consultation with business leaders and organisations. Further on the importance of transport and logistics infrastructure to the implementation of the AfCFTA, the Trade Minister explained that it provides access to consumer markets, connects raw materials to beneficial markets, promotes regional integration and improves connectivity to the global economy. He added it has a direct bearing on a country’s ability to deal with trade (imports and exports), the development of distribution routes, frequency of shipments, and the cost of freight handling, storage, distribution and related services.

These variables, he said, affect the competitiveness of companies in a market and thus equally affect the competitiveness a country. “With the AfCFTA, an opportunity exists to attract investments in key areas for Africa’s transformation, boosting production, processing, and trade, with a continental market of 1.3 billion people and a combined GDP of $3.4 trillion,” he stated.

- Advertisement -

Mr Joof posited that the new market will raise the level of trade among countries and stimulate production through the development of regional value chains in manufacturing, agricultural processing, and other activities. These value chains, he noted, will boost intra-Africa trade and strengthen Africa’s economic and commercial development if countries relax the tension at all borders to facilitate movement, not restrict movement. He however reiterated that that these objectives would not be achieved without improvement in transportation and logistics system that would enable movement of goods and persons across the continente.

Join The Conversation
- Advertisment -spot_img
- Advertisment -spot_img