ECA, AUC pledge full support to Zimbabwe on AfCFTA implementation

32345821927 1a74af2628 cThe United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Union Commission (AUC) have assured Zimbabwe of continued technical support in assisting the country in its efforts to develop a national strategy to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

In remarks during the opening session of a two-day validation workshop on Zimbabwe's National AfCFTA Strategy, Batanai Chikwene, ECA programme manager, said the organisation was willing and prepared to support the government and people of Zimbabwe in their economic development process.

“The ECA through the UN system in Zimbabwe will continue to support the government of Zimbabwe in its economic transformation and development agenda,” he said, adding the national strategy being reviewed for validation was a product of thorough research and consultation, and provided vital and far-reaching recommendations on the way forward for Zimbabwe in implementing the AfCFTA.

The success in implementing the AfCFTA strategy, which is aligned to major regional initiatives, depends on the implementation of important policy documents on which the strategy is anchored, added Chikwene.

The draft identifies six strategic objectives for the country:

-To develop a cohesive and efficient common national approach to continental and regional integration;

-To expand exports of goods and services and widen access into African markets;

-To enhance trade facilitation and the business environment;

-Enhancing infrastructure development to facilitate border connectivity and access to markets;

-Targeted upgrading of human resources and institutional capacities; and empowering women and youth in both the formal and informal sectors.

“The importance of ensuring coherence among fiscal policies, monetary policies, industrial policies and trade promotion initiatives is critical and cannot be overemphasised. Ongoing efforts to implement key economic reforms are a step in the right direction and should be commended. And, results from such efforts are beginning to show,” the ECA expert stated.

He added the effective implementation of the AfCFTA strategy will require government, the private sector and other trade support institutions to work together.

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