This is the highlight of the opening on July 11, 2018 in Abuja, general meetings of Afreximbank.
The intervention of President Cyril Ramaphosa set the tone for the work of this institution born 25 years ago to boost inter-African trade. Indeed, it is time for integration with the signing of the treaty of the Continental Free Trade Area (ZLECA) March 21 in Kigali by 44 countries and 49 at the end of the last summit of the African Union held in early July in Nouakchott .
So far only 6 countries have ratified the treaty. Nigeria is leaving the latest countries to have not yet signed, because, says Kemi Adeosun,
the Minister of Finance, special internal consultation procedures specific to this vast federal state. “I told myself that South Africa should not sign this treaty under pressure. I repeat it today for Nigeria. No pressure, take your time, “replies South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, guest star of the opening session of these Afreximbank meetings.
Very much alive, the successor of Jacob Zuma delivered a real plea for the integration of the continent, declaring that his country will soon ratify the treaty. “I’m basically optimistic,” he says, echoing Nelson Mandela’s famous quote. “We are here in Abuja in optimism. The obstacles do not make us give up in the construction of a rich, prosperous and inclusive Africa “, continues the South African head of state, convinced that the ZLECA carries the aspirations of the base.
The future continental free trade zone will, it should be remembered, bring together 54 economies with an aggregate GDP of $ 3.3 trillion and a population of $ 1.2 billion. While inter-European trade accounts for 67% of the flows of the old continent, in Africa the ratio hardly exceeds 15%. A fact that the bank Afreximbank intends to change as recalled by its president, Dr. Benedict Oramah. “Our 3-phase strategy is to support operators in production, logistics infrastructure and connectivity”.
By 2022 at the latest, the CAFTA is expected to come into effect. The process to obtain the 22 minimum ratifications has already begun, said Albert Mouchanga, commissioner of the African Union for Trade and Industry.
The opening ceremony of the 25 Afreximbank AGs ended with a € 500 million signature agreement disbursed by Afreximbank to the Central African Development Bank (BDEAC). We will come back to it.