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‘Reduce’ intra- Africa trade barrier, says Okonjo- Iweala

World Trade Organisation Director-General, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala says African countries must reduce intra- trading costs if the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) agreement truly benefits the continent.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala disclosed this on Friday as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) discussed its paper which focuses on the potentials of AFCFTA.

The WTO DG said: “The costs are because of the barriers; trading in Africa is equivalent to 435% tariff.

“Unless we can deal with the costs and bring them down, it would be difficult for us to actualise good implementation of AfCFTA.

“At the European Union, trade is about 60%, while in ASEAN, it’s about 21%. For us in Africa, it is way up.”

Dr Okonjo-Iweala added that AFCFTA is a key instrument to deliver agenda 2063 of the African Union that seeks to bring growth and industrialise the continent.

Writing by Tersoo Nicholas; Editing by Tony Okerafor