Tag Archives: free trade

EU towards “new partnership” with Africa

‘To speak of the future, one must speak of Africa – Europe’s twin continent.
Africa is the future: By 2050, Africa’s population will number 2.5 billion. One in four people on earth will be African” – said Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission in his 2018 State of Union speech.

“We need to invest more in our relationship with the nations of this great and noble continent. And we have to stop seeing this relationship through the sole prism of development aid. Such an approach is beyond inadequate, humiliatingly so.
Africa does not need charity, it needs true and fair partnerships. And Europe needs this partnership just as much.
“In preparing my speech today, I spoke to my African friends, notably Paul Kagame, the Chairperson of the African Union. We agreed that donor-recipient relations are a thing of the past. We agreed that reciprocal commitments are the way forward. We want to build a new partnership with Africa.

“Today, we are proposing a new Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs between Europe and Africa. This Alliance – as we envision it – would help create up to 10 million jobs in Africa in the next 5 years alone. We want to create a framework that brings more private investment to Africa. We are not starting from scratch: our External Investment Plan, launched two years ago, will mobilise over €44 billion in both the public and private investment. Alone the projects already in the pipeline will unlock €24 billion.
We want to focus our investment where it matters the most. By 2020, the EU will have supported 35,000 African students and researchers with our Erasmus programme. By 2027, this figure should reach 105,000.

“Trade between Africa and Europe is not insignificant. 36% of Africa’s trade is with the European Union. This compares to 16% for China and 6% for the United States. But this is not enough. I believe we should develop the numerous European-African trade agreements into a continent-to continent free trade agreement, as an economic partnership between equals”.

Nigeria to join African free trade area

President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigeria will soon sign up to an African continental free trade agreement.

Buhari made the comment while speaking at a press conference during a visit by South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa.

African Continental Free Trade Agreement among 55 members of African Union will result in creating in the largest free-trade area in the world. The Agreement was signed by 44 countries in March, and South Africa joining in July.

Africa’ $3 trillion free-trade zone

African leaders agreed to form a $3 trillion continental free-trade zone encompassing 1.2 billion people, but its two biggest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, declined to join.

The African Union launched talks in 2015 to establish a 55-nation bloc that would be the biggest in the world by number of participating states, aiming to increase intra-regional trade, which constitutes 15% of Africa’s total commerce.

Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda, host of an AU summit called to conclude the initial negotiations, declared a success after 44 African nations signed up to establish the free trade bloc within 18 months. It were no explanations of South Africa and Nigeria decision to restrain from joining the project. However South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa said he is reflecting upon creating of pan-African currency.

The project needed a minimum of 22 countries signing up to get off the ground and Kagame said the aim number of members is reached. Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia, Burundi, Eritrea, Benin, Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau declared as participants of the free-trade zone.

“What is at stake is the dignity and well-being of Africa’s farmers, workers and entrepreneurs,” Kagame declared.