President Muhammadu Buhari has assured participants at the 2nd Intra-African Trade Fair 2021, that his delegation is attending with ‘‘full force’’ to maximize the advantage of the gathering.
Naija News reports that Buhari said this while addressing the opening ceremony of the event in Durban, South Africa.
‘‘Let me assure you that Nigeria has come to Durban in full force to actively participate in this very important trade fair and take full advantage of all the opportunities it provides,” Buhari said.
‘‘We have streamlined the country’s participation under one roof to enable you access all the information you need.”
According to current records, Intra African trade accounts for only 15 percent of their transactions.
The President expressed optimism that the creation of the biggest free trade area in the world, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), will work, especially with the active collaboration of the public and private sectors.
He canvassed support for the implementation of the free trade initiative, listing several benefits to the continent, including doubling trade in 10 years and reducing over-reliance on imports.
The president expressed concern that most of Africa’s existing challenges, whether security, economy, or corruption, can be traced to the inability over the years to domesticate the production of most basic requirements and provide jobs to her teeming and dynamic youth population.
‘‘Under the African Continental Free Trade Area, we can double our intra-African trade by 2030, reduce our reliance on imports and therefore create more jobs within the continent.
‘‘We cannot achieve this goal by talking alone. The implementation will be a difficult journey. But all challenges are surmountable if both the public and private sectors collaborate.
‘‘On the public sector side, Governments must support local entrepreneurs to build scale and therefore improve productivity.
‘‘This means providing incentives to encourage our businesses to formalise and comply with laid down regulations,’’ he said.