The challenges facing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) can only be tackled with appropriate legal framework aimed at addressing most of the concerns of reluctant members’ states for the trade bloc to yield the expected results. This was the submission of the Senate President of the federal republic of Nigeria, Senator Ahmad Lawan who noted that going ahead without such framework would amount to putting the cart before the horse. The Senate president made this known when a delegation from the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat, led by its new Secretary General, Wamkele Keabetswe Mene paid a courtesy visit to him in Abuja.

Senator Ahmad Lawan

According to Lawan, aside from facing the challenges of unemployment, and underemployment, which had led to migration, the economies of African countries had been characterised by low productivity, reduced efficiency, and limited resources. He described AfCFTA as “a step in the right direction for the growth of African economies, through limited restrictions, leading to the stimulation of trade, commerce, and industry”.

“In signing the AfCFTA, and depositing the instrument with the African Union Commission, our countries made a statement on the determination of our collective economic fate. This fate is in our hands, through requisite legal frameworks, right policies, and a robust implementation. “The initial momentum from the signing of the agreement needs to be continued, for a greater continental impact, to benefit Africans, both on the continent and outside it,” he said.

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