- The Nigerian government expresses concern over insufficient trade between Nigeria and other African nations as the AfCFTA implementation approaches
- Officials at the ARSO Council meeting highlight the need for standardized trade practices to enhance the success of AfCFTA
As the full implementation of the African Continent Free Trade Area Agreement approaches, the Nigerian federal government has raised alarms about the insufficient level of trade between Nigeria and other African nations.
Doris Uzoka-Anite, the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, conveyed this apprehension during the opening ceremony of the 69th African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) Council meeting in Abuja. Hosted by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, the event centered around the theme “Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation-One Standard-One Test-One Certificate-Accepted Everywhere.”
Representing the Minister, Mrs. Comfort Lenkat Emenb, the Director of Weights and Measures in the Ministry, emphasized the unindustrialized state of the African economy. She pointed out that Africa predominantly exports raw materials while importing value-added goods, contributing to the continent’s meager 4% share in global trade. Furthermore, she highlighted that trade between African countries only represents 17% of their overall global trade. Addressing the low level of industrialization, she urged collective responsibility to overcome challenges impacting trading capacities.
Dr. Ifeanyi Okeke, the Director-General of the Standards Organisation, also addressed the audience, stating that the primary focus of the meeting is to advocate for the adoption of standards across all trade sectors on the African continent. Additionally, he emphasized the need to create an enabling environment for the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) to thrive.