President Ramaphosa seeks to boost intra-African trade, industrialisation

CAPE TOWN – The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will be an important step towards rebalancing global trade relations and levelling the playing field for African businesses, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Saturday night.

Speaking at the annual Ubuntu Awards 2020 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, he said that through the AfCFTA “we want to reignite industrialisation, boost intra-African trade, and benefit from the largest common market in the world”. 

“Our [South Africa’s] emissaries for economic diplomacy, many of whom are here this evening, will play an increasingly prominent role,” he said.

During South Africa’s second term as African Union (AU) chair, the country was committed to strengthening the AU and other continental institutions, such as the Pan African Parliament and the African Peer Review Mechanism.

“We are going to work with the structures of the AU to deepen the unity of our continent, and to advance inclusive growth and sustainable development. This we aim to achieve through supporting integration, industrialisation, economic development, trade and investment,” he said. 

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