Tanzania Scrutinises AfCFTA Benefits

THERE is still need to exhaustively go through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) content and see how it will benefit the country before rectifying the pact.

The Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade Engineer Stella Manyanya said that the AfCTA pact is considered to be an important one by the government as it aims at connecting a market of 1.3 billion people and trade worth 3 trillion dollars, but it was cautious on best modality before taking a ratification step.

"All Tanzania wants is an assurance that there will be a win-win provision equally for all countries before ratification of the AfCTA which is of unique importance for Africa to push an agenda of fighting for economic freedom," Engineer Manyanya said in Dar es Salaam as she officially opened Africa Industrialization day which went in hand with industrial exhibition on Saturday evening.

The deputy minister cited that one of the areas the country was still examining cautiously before the ratification step includes assuring itself that the pact will get rid of ill will competition between nations but instead, harmonize trade between the involved countries for positive change.

She cited an example of areas which may lead to ill will trade is that of not properly working on demandsupply curve among African nations which lead to countries scrambling to produce and export similar products, a move which may turn to be a setback to realization of the AfCTA pact to its intended potentiality.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)'s resident representative in Tanzania Mr Stephen Kargbo, said that the industrialization agenda takes the centre stage in government's plans and therefore, the intra-African trade and Free Trade Areas (FTA) would allow companies to benefit from enlarged economies of large scales.

"Special emphasis shall be placed on agriculture, quality infrastructure, energy, SME development, innovation product diversification, capacity building, industrial policy and special economic zone with robust public private sector partnerships with stakeholders be enhanced for investment and sustainable industrialisation," he said.

AfCFTA is a free trade area, outlined in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement among 54 of the 55 African Union nations. 28 countries have both signed and ratified the AfCFTA Agreement.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa estimates that the agreement will boost intra-African trade by 52 per cent by 2022.

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