The Managing Director of Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL), Dr. Amy Jadesimi, has commended the Federal Government of Nigeria over the signing of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), saying the agreement would spur development and industrialization of the continent.
According to Jadesimi in a press statement in Lagos, “We need a continental-focused solution that is developed by the African Union, and targets making the trade agreement a mechanism for local industrialization.
“That should be the aim of this trade agreement, rather than just something broad and high level about economic growth or prosperity — those things won’t come if, underlying all of this, we do not create jobs and lift our economies through industrialization.”
She made it known that AfCFTA has the potential to spur economic growth in a bloc of nations with a combined gross domestic product of more than $3tn, creating the world’s largest free trade zone.
Jadesimi argued that AfCFTA must offer incentives to boost African manufacturing and if it fails — an outcome that could turn the continent into a dumping ground for cheap Chinese, US or European goods.
“Are we going to create an entirely new paradigm for trade, that is Africa-centric, that is controlled by African countries, and that disincentivises foreign companies and countries outside of the continent from importing — are we going to do that? That’s going to be really tricky,” said Jadesimi.