The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) is conducting three days session on behalf of media houses from French speaking countries on the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), 20 francophone journalists are in attendance at Radisson Blue Sea Hotel in Dakar, Senegal expecting build their capacity on the continental trade from September 7th-9th, 2022.
Adeyinka Adeyemi a senior advisor in the Regional Integration and Trade Division at UNECA said that the commission needs to make countries understand and trust the reason for being part of the AfCFTA.
“Everything about AfCFTA is going to make the lives of citizens of Africa more comfortable. It means that whatever they are buying at a certain price today, prices will go down when the tariff is removed. Citizens need to know that they will sell their goods without worrying about tariffs. Moreover, tariffs would have gone to zero over 5 to 10 years,” he added.
Mr. Adeyemi indicated that that partnering with the media on continental level will increase the awareness and advantages of the common market to Africans.
“We want the African media to understand and know our knowledge materials, the knowledge tools that we have … in terms of assessment, national strategies that we are using to help countries to develop according to their objectives and priorities. We will help countries to implement AfCFTA based on their priorities,” senior advisor in the Regional Integration and Trade Division Adeyinka Adeyemi told Burundi Times in Dakar.
A tool is said to have been developed by UNECA that will help journalists get read of misinformation and disinformation, a tool is expected to track in real time if what people are saying related to AfCFTA is correct or not.
“That tool will enforce what medias have developed when the story is correct and once the stories are not correct that opinion could distort policy or destabilize the orientation in the country and the actualization of this agreement then we will in real time go and correct them,” said Adeyemi.
“We have a large number of citizens to inform. That is why we need to have the appropriate language to inform them properly because if we do not have the correct terminology the consequences will affect citizens because they could miss the point or practically do not appropriate themselves the very AfCFTA idea, that will be pitiful,” Modeste Okome a 24 year old Gabonese told Burundi Times in Dakar.
It should be noted that the same workshop took place from March 29 to April 1st, 2022 in Nairobi, kenya.
Aiming to achieve a free movement of goods and services in the whole continent, The African union established an African single market back in March 2018 in Kigali by that time 43 member states have so far ratified and deposit.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement officially commenced operationalization a year ago, forming the cornerstone of trade integration in Africa. The objective of the AfCFTA encompasses the creation of a single continental market and aims to enhance competitiveness at the enterprise level. From a business perspective, the AfCFTA is a tool to help African businesses benefit from the great opportunities with what a growing continent can offer on both the supply and demand sides.
43 countries has so far signed and ratified and 11 have only signed, Eritrea is the only country left which has not signed nor ratified.