Osinbajo charges AU member states to ratify AfCFTA protocols

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Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has urged African Union (AU) member states to ratify agreements under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

These include protocols on free movement of persons, right of residence and right of establishment.

The VP made the call at the MAN @ 50 roundtable on industrialisation in Africa with the theme: “Positioning African Countries for Economic Transformation and Continental Free Trade.”

A statement by Omotayo Okewunmi, Public Relations Officer, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) quoted Osinbajo as saying the ratification would boost trade and regional value chains.

He said African governments must provide a stable environment that avoids volatility in prices, sharp deteriorations in the current account and budget deficits, and rapid accumulation in debt burdens.

Osinbajo noted the importance of well-negotiated rules of origin in the context of the free trade agreement, which he said was key to preventing trans-shipment and the deflection of trade.

The VP urged nations to adopt the right type of macroeconomic and industrial policies.

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Osinbajo advised MAN to involve itself in an advisory capacity to the government.

He further called for the ease of payments across borders to develop and deepen inter-regional and continental payment systems.

“It is particularly important in this regard to rapidly operationalise the effort by Afreximbank to establish a Pan-African Payments and Settlement Platform.

“This will go a long way in creating the desired continental payments system and also in facilitating cross-border informal trade which is estimated to be about $93 billion per annum,” Osinbajo said.

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