Frihandel i media vecka 21

2019-05-21

Nigeria kommer att ansluta sig till den afrikanska frihandelspakten enligt Bloomberg:

“Nigeria will sign the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement as soon as President Muhammadu Buhari approves an impact-assessment report he asked for, the country’s trade minister said.

Nigeria is one of 29 countries yet to sign the agreement seeking to boost intra-African trade, stimulate investment and innovation. The trade deal comes into effect May 30 after 22 African countries ratified it.

“I think the president has a sense of urgency about this because when he asked us to conduct an impact assessment study, we were given just three months to finish everything and we have done so,” Okechukwu Enelamah, Nigeria’s minister of industry, trade and investment, said in an interview in Abuja, Nigeria’s commercial capital.

“We do need to conclude our processes and make sure that the train doesn’t leave the station and go far before we join.”

Nigeria has adopted a proactive approach to its trade policy, which has been recently reviewed for the first time in many years, Enalamah said.”

 

2019-05-18

Mer om Afrikas frihandelsambitioner från Foundation for Economic Education. FEE:

“After the west African nation The Gambia ratified the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in April, the twenty-two-nation threshold needed for the trade pact to come into effect has now been reached. This is great news for Africa, because not only will a continent-wide free-trade area boost the region’s economy, but the AfCFTA represents an important ideological shift away from the socialist tendencies that have haunted much of the continent since its independence.

Unfortunately, most African nations fully embraced the socialist economic model when they were freed from their colonial rulers. As the president of the Free Africa Foundation George Ayittey notes, “capitalism was identified with colonialism, and since the latter was evil and exploitative, so too was the former.” Quite simply, socialism “was advocated as the only road to Africa’s prosperity.”

In 1963, the Organization of African Unity (OAU)—the predecessor to the African Union (AU)—was created largely thanks to Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere, the president of Tanganyika and then-Tanzania. They believed “a united socialist Africa (was a) necessary condition for the realization of the African personality.” The market-friendly policies championed by the AU today couldn’t be further opposed to Nkrumah and Nyerere’s socialist intentions for the original OAU.

The AfCFTA, a project of the AU, was introduced in March 2018 by Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda and (at that time) leader of the AU. Ideologically, Kagame describes himself as an avid free-trader and a disciple of Lee Kuan Yew, the first prime minister of the free-trading nation of Singapore. Kagame’s capitalistic views are not fringe beliefs and, following the trade area’s introduction, forty-four of the fifty-five of the AU nations instantly signed the agreement to show their support. Today, just three countries have yet to sign.

(—)

That’s not to say that Africa’s broad turn toward economic liberalization will solve all of the continent’s problems, or that Africa has been completely taken over by free-trading tendencies. So far, only 22 AU member-states have ratified the free-trade area, and although more are expected to join in the coming months, there is still a long way to go until the entire continent joins the trade area. Similarly, Nigeria, which has the continent’s largest economy, remains vehemently opposed to the trade deal.

Yet although socialism does continue to show its ugly face across Africa, we can all celebrate the fact that the socialist ideology that plagued the continent for decades is no longer mainstream. The AfCFTA truly has the potential to grow Africa’s economy and lift many out of poverty. When the deal is implemented later this year, it should be seen as a sign that Africa is turning it back on its socialist past and is embracing a new, prosperous, free-trading future. Africans should hope that this trend will continue.”

 


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