The National Action Committee on AfCFTA has concluded a two day capacity building program for exporters, membership based organizations, and stakeholders in the South West of the country. The program was held at the MAN Center in Ikeja, Lagos, on February 16 and 17, and had in attendance well over 50 attendees from Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and other States of the South West.
The program facilitators, Zakari Jimeta, Franca Achimugu, Paul Obi Chukwunyem and Omeiza Jegede enjoined the participants to seize the enhanced opportunities and market afforded by AfCFTA to expand Nigeria’s export capacity for the much needed utilization of the nations vast natural, agricultural and manufacturing base in addition to the burgeoning service sector. According to them, AfCFTA is affording Nigerian exporters access to Africa’s $504.17 billion goods market and the $162 billion services market.
AfCFTA is now the single largest regional market in the world with 54 member countries of the African Union. No other regional market in the World has such a large number of countries. As a regional market across all of Africa, it offers a single market for goods and services originating within the continent, facilitates movement of capital and investment, promotes sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development across Africa, enhances the competitiveness of goods, services and and African producers, promotes industrial development across the continent and lays the foundation for a future African Customs Union. In doing all of these, AfCFTA becomes a leveler for all businesses, countries and gender and is expected to boost Inter African trade by at least 53% in the next couple of years. At the moment, Inter African trade (i.e. trade among African countries) is less than 13% on an annual basis.
Besides, AfCFTA is connecting Nigerian businesses to 1.3 billion people across 55 African countries with a combined GDP valued at $3.4 billion. It is also offering progressive elimination of tariffs on 90% of tradeable goods, elimination of non-tariff barriers, harmonization of polices for trade in services and free movement of persons across the continent
The export capacity building program covered conceptual issues of trade and economic integration, the emergence of AfCFTA, its operations and practical aspects of the AfCFTA export trade process in addition to providing networking and partnership opportunities for stakeholders
At the end of the two days program, the program participants were better prepared to carry out their business in ensuring a successful export trade under the AfCFTA framework.