Domestication of AfCFTA at national level is central to its implementation: Masisi

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi has declared that the efficacy of the of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will be guaranteed if its domesticated.

President Masisi made this call in a speech he deliberated on the occasion of the official opening of the virtual 49th Southern Africa Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) plenary assembly which was hosted by Botswana.

Southern Africa Development Community Parliamentary Forum is a regional inter-parliamentary body composed of Members of Parliament from SADC member states national parliaments.

The session was held under the Theme: “Leveraging the AfCFTA for Post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery in Southern Africa: The Role of SADC Parliamentary Forum and National Parliaments.”

President Masisi said the liberalized trade offers a golden opportunity with the potential to open new horizons for regional economic cooperation in Africa and he further encouraged African leaders to move beyond political boundaries for a quick economic recovery to take effect.

“AfCFTA cannot be effective without domestication at national level. To this end, there should be no reason why SADC and Africa as a whole cannot be major players that partake in global GDP at par with other regions of the world.

“The AfCFTA is one of the key drivers that can position Africa as an economic powerhouse,” said President Masisi.

He also underscored that, the successful implementation of the SADC integration agenda is a prerequisite for the true realisation of the AfCFTA.

Speaking on the sidelines of a SADC PF plenary virtual session Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda said Zimbabwe had since ratified the African Continental Free Trade Area and implored member states to domesticate the instrument.

“It is important that Parliaments within Sadc PF now proceed to domesticate various areas of the agreement particularly in the form of custom and immigration laws so that we are in sync within custom and immigration laws which will enable free movement within the continent,” said Adv Mudenda.

AfCFTA, came into effect on January 1, 2021 has been envisioned to elicit transformation across Africa, lifting more people out of poverty for  it is a gateway for Africans to unified trade, value addition, diversification of product ranges, employment and a closer interaction between Africa’s natural resources and the much needed industrialisation.

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