INTERVENTION STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY MR EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA DURING THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM ON AFRICA IN THE AFTERMATH OF BREXIT

INTERVENTION STATEMENT
BY HIS EXCELLENCY MR EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA
DURING THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM ON AFRICA IN THE AFTERMATH OF BREXIT, WHAT LESSONS CAN AFRICAN LEADERS DRAW FOR SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA INITIATIVE DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA, 3rd -5th MAY, 2017.

CHAIRPERSON,
LET ME BEGIN BY APPRECIATING THE PROGRESS MADE SO FAR, WITH REGARDS TO ECONOMIC INTEGRATION IN AFRICA. WE ARE HOPEFUL THAT EFFORTS ARE BEING MADE TO EXPEDITE FURTHER DEEPENING OF ECONOMIC INTEGRATION FOR THE COMMON GOOD OF OUR CONTINENT.

THE CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA WHICH WE ARE ALL ASPIRING FOR, IS AN INITIATIVE AIMED AT INTEGRATING AFRICAN MARKETS. THIS INITIATIVE REQUIRES A WELL COORDINATED MECHANISM TO ENSURE THAT REGIONAL OUTCOMES COMPLEMENT EACH OTHER.

WE CAN USE THIS INITIATIVE AS A VEHICLE FOR US TO COLLABORATE EFFECTIVELY IN REGIONAL, TRIPARTITE AND CONTINENTAL MEETINGS AND PROCESSES.

CHAIRPERSON,

FOR THE CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA TO BE SUCCESSFUL AND FOR AFRICA TO SUBSEQUENTLY RECORD INCREASED INTRA-REGIONAL TRADE, WE NEED TO PAY MORE ATTENTION TO DEVELOPING AND STRENGTHENING INFRASTRUCTURE, PROMOTING VALUE CHAINS AND COOPERATING IN THE UTILISATION OF COMMONLY USED FACILITIES SUCH AS SEA PORTS AT REGIONAL LEVEL.

THE SUCCESS OF THE CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA WILL NOT ONLY BOOST MARKETS, BUT WILL ALSO RESULT IN AFRICA BECOMING A MORE ATTRACTIVE INVESTMENT DESTINATION IN LIGHT OF THE CONTINENT’S COMBINED GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP).

AS AFRICAN LEADERS, WE CAN DRAW LESSONS FROM BREXIT. OUR ASPIRATION FOR A CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA SHOULD MAKE US COGNISANT OF THE NEED FOR ACCRUED BENEFITS FROM THIS INITIATIVE TO BE SHARED AND DISTRIBUTED EQUALLY.

WE SHOULD BE MINDFUL THAT IN AN EVENT OF UNEQUAL SHARING AND DISTRIBUTION, SOME MEMBER STATES ARE LIKELY TO EXIT. HOWEVER, WE SHOULD AT ALL COSTS GUARD AGAINST THIS, BY PUTTING IN PLACE MECHANISMS WHICH WILL ENSURE BENEFITS ARE SHARED AND DISTRIBUTED EVENLY.

AS WE IMPLEMENT THE CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA, IT IS ALSO IMPERATIVE THAT WE ARE ALIVE TO THE FACT THAT AFRICAN COUNTRIES ARE AT DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ECONOMIC AND INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT.

IN THIS REGARD, IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA CAN ONLY YIELD GOOD RESULTS, IF WE CONSIDER THIS STATUS QUO.

CHAIRPERSON
ALLOW ME TO CONCLUDE BY INDICATING THAT THE SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA CALLS FOR COLLECTIVE EFFORTS AND ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT OF ALL STAKEHOLDERS, INCLUDING THE PRIVATE SECTOR.
I THANK YOU.

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