The trade ministry through the Namibia Trade Forum and in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme Namibia, on Friday, launched an African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) awareness campaign.
Deputy Trade Minister, Verna Sinimbo at the launch, said the AfCFTA is expected to boost intra-African trade as well as increase regional and continental value chains, through the establishment of viable and competitive industries on the continent.
The stakeholders are launching a number of awareness initiatives across the nation, to make sure Namibia is on pace with other African nations and is prepared to fully benefit from the AfCFTA trade prospects, which can have a significant impact on Namibian enterprises.
“This could culminate in innovation, employment opportunities and wealth creation to the citizenry of the African people, especially women and youth,” said Sinimbo.
She added that Namibia, within the framework of Southern African Customs Union (SACU), is currently finalising its tariff offer to the AfCFTA. Afterwards, Namibia is expected to soon launch a national AfCFTA implementation strategy and action plan.
The deputy minister went on to say that it is crucial for Namibian business groups to get ready and fully utilize the advantages provided by the agreement. This calls for expanding manufacturing capabilities, diversifying the economy, adding value to locally available resources, and making sure Namibian goods have a place for export on the African continent.
“It is also important to note that the Pan African Payment and Settlement System has been developed to ensure that trade under the AfCFTA will be done through African currencies. This means that, Namibian exporters, including informal traders, will now be able to settle their imports using the local currency and receive payments in the local currency when exporting goods and services within the continent. This will make trade easier and reduces trading costs to the minimal,” Sinimbo explained.