New Cairo to Capetown free trade zone will increase Africa's economic power

Published June 11th, 2015 - 07:15 GMT

Egypt is proud of Africa and signing the Tripartite Constituent Agreement is due to boost trade and remove tariff and non-tariff barriers, according to President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

Al-Sisi added during his speech on Wednesday at the African Blocs Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh that this event is an important point for the economic integration of the establishment of a Free Trade Area (FTA).

Al-Sisi noted that the FTA extends from Alexandria on the Mediterranean Coast to Cape Town, and the tripartite agreement is a major step to increasing Africa’s effective economic power by 2063. This will start with the establishment of the FTA which will commence in 2017, in addition to linking Africa in the transport, energy and information technology fields.

The political will requires work to strengthen economic and regional integration by adopting national policies that aim to increase the added value of goods, Al-Sisi added, which reflect positively to attract more investment.

Al-Sisi praised the recent COMESA and SADAK summit, which focused on the importance of infrastructural development and highlighted Egypt’s support of African Union initiatives to develop Africa’s infrastructure.

Al-Sisi stressed these efforts aim at achieving cooperation between African countries and the resolution of the deterioration in transport, communications, water resources and energy.

“The Qustul Ashkit road between Egypt and Sudan, which was opened last month, in addition to the land road extending from Cairo to Cape Town is almost finished and will help in solving transport problems,” Al-Sisi added. “We provided a proposal of the maritime line between Victoria Lake and the Mediterranean to ease the trade movement inside Africa.”

President Al-Sisi said Egypt will spare no effort in supporting African countries, saying “our destiny is one”, and what benefit is achieved is for the benefit of the whole continent.

Al-Sisi stressed that Egypt is ready to offer its expertise to serve Africa, and experts will be provided in technical fields through the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development to build African manpower to eliminate unemployment.

He emphasised the role of African woman in ensuring the achievement of the desired transformation, and the need to enhance their role in eradicating poverty and helping in development.

On his part, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya demanded the establishment of an FTA, alongside overcoming the obstacles related to visas for investors in some African countries.

Ngwenya added that businessmen suffered difficulty in accessing countries such as Kenya and Rwanda, saying that business owners require interventions of governments to facilitate the entry of goods.

By Shaimaa Elise and Nehal Mounir

© 2021 Daily News Egypt.

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