Having recognized the huge potential of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in attracting investment, the African business community is driving a trillion-dollar investment initiative, an senior African Union (AU) official said.

AU heads of state will be meeting on Sunday for their 33rd summit at the headquarters of the 55-member pan-African bloc in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, under the theme of the year, “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development.”

Business24

The private sector-driven initiative will be tabled for consideration at the summit, said AU Commissioner for Trade and Industry Muchanga Albert late Thursday.

He told a press briefing that the African private sector led by the Afro-Champions has invited the AU to launch a landmark private sector investment framework for the financing of AfCFTA.

“It is intended to create the first phase of an investment framework within which the private sector can take advantage of the AfCFTA to not only trade, but also invest in infrastructure, set up industries, add value to goods and services, increase intra-Africa trade and eventually transform the continent into space of broad-based development as well as durable peace and stability,” Albert said.

The first phase of the framework, to be implemented 2020 and 2030, aims to stimulate one trillion U.S. dollars or more AfCFTA investment by the 2030, or 100 billion dollars annually, he said.

Muchanga said there are efforts to mobilize African and global financing partners who control up to 10 trillion dollars in combined assets under management.

“Once these funds are mobilized, deployed and start yielding dividends, some of these dividends will be prosperity and commitment to durable peace and stability,” he said.

“The AU Commission is confident that with this initiative, the private sector will drive implementation of the AfCFTA agreement by investing in and financing mega projects that will transform, for better, the continent and lives of our citizens,” Muchanga said.

Fifty-four of the 55 AU members have signed the agreement establishing the AfCFTA, and 28 countries have ratified and deposited the instruments of ratifications with the AU.

Muchanga said more members are expected to deposit instruments of ratifications during the summit. Enditem

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