The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat in a bid to ease constraints of settling intra-African trade in a foreign denominated currency has upheld the prospect of a common currency in Africa.
The goal of a common African currency has long been a pillar of African unity, a symbol of the strength that its backers hope will emerge from efforts to integrate the continent.
Speaking at the “Quarterly Press Briefing on AfCFTA Achievements, Status of Implementation, and the Next Steps Confirmation,” Secretary General of AfCFTA, Wamkele Mene related the probability of having a common currency to realisation of AfCFTA even though people never thought that there would ever be a free trade area in Africa.
“But we now have it and I am confident that one day the African continent will have a single currency.
“Though there are a range of issues to be considered regarding macro-economic convergence. Thankfully, there are departments in the African Union (AU) to deal with the complexities about how we get to a single currency for the African continent. But certainly it is a positive step that will facilitate intra-African trade,” he said.
In an interview with BusinessMail, National Business Council of Zimbabwe president Langton Mabhanga said the aspiration of a common currency for the African continent is profound because it will provide tremendous competitive advantage to the African economies on the global market.
“This is because of the immense raw materials, mineralogy that exist on the African continent, so a united common currency and economic bloc will enhance the African voice, it will become a game changer, robust voice that cannot be ignored.
“That might even usher prospects for open borders, a common visa and passport for the entire African region,” Mabhanga said.
He highlighted that the envisioned common currency should not be isolated from the goals of the regional intergovernmental organization, African Union since they conceived the dream.
Thus, the African economies should retrace and reconnect the founding values of the continent so that the dream is viable.
“The other variables of the geopolitics of the continent are the very regional economic blocs their ideologies and markets cannot be isolated in this discourse so there is real qualitative discourse African countries should be engaged with such that we define the ideologies and economic philosophies in closing the gaps between standpoints of the regional blocs,” he added.
He underscored the need for comparative advantages of individual African countries since they play a role in the conversations of a common currency.
“It will be very important that we have common benchmarks that define shape comparative advantages in a manner that is mutually beneficial among members of the African continent in terms of trading fairly, pulling resources so as to raise the bargaining and buying power were importation is involved from other global markets.
“So consolidating comparative advantages of African countries in a well-structured way will be critical in coming up with fair trading exchange among countries,” he said.
Zimbabwe is anchored on the agricultural sector and the nation’s agricultural activities are at the centre of the economy growth as such, Vice President of APEX Council for Young Farmers Association, Baldwin Mazango expressed positivity towards the possibility of a common currency in Africa.
“We are going to derive the maximum and full value of our high quality produce in Zimbabwe because our goods are not competitive since they are charged in United States dollar so if we have the African denominated currency it will bring about the competitive advantage and farmers are going to derive maximum benefit because our products are highly sort out and we will generate more exports, demand and income.
“This is the panacea to Africa’s economy problem that we should have one currency and work towards one common goal to strengthen our economic prosperity and lift our people out of poverty,” Mazango said.
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