Nigeria and EAC discuss African Continental Free Trade Area
Nigeria’s outgoing High Commissioner to Tanzania, Dr Ishaya Samaila Majambu, today paid a courtesy call on the East African Community Secretary-General (SG), Amb. Dr Richard Sezibera, at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
Dr Majambu and Dr Sezibera discussed the increasing opportunities for intra- and inter-regional trade brought about by the establishment of regional economic communities (RECs) in Africa.
Dr Majambu hailed the many achievements made by the five EAC Partner States especially in the area of infrastructure development saying this would spur economic growth in the region, adding that it would be prudent for other RECs to borrow from EAC’s infrastructure development strategy.
The envoy called for increased exchange programmes and study tours between the EAC and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
On his part, Dr Sezibera emphasised the increasing collaboration between the EAC and ECOWAS. Dr Sezibera said the EAC was keen on what ECOWAS has attained in the area of financial integration.
Noting the establishment of a tripartite Free Trade Area (FTA) between the EAC, South African Development Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, Dr Sezibera said he looked forward to the FTA linking up with ECOWAS and other RECs to form an African Continental FTA (CFTA).
The SG said the CFTA would be a turning point in that it would give African countries the opportunity to trade between themselves in addition to the global market.
Amb. Sezibera praised Nigeria and its citizens for their patriotism and national pride saying the West African country had made Africa proud.
“When things go wrong in Africa, we Africans are often quick to berate ourselves. Nigerians outside of Africa introduce themselves as Africans and are always ready to defend the continent,” said the SG.