The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), has urged African Union (AU) member states to focus on value-addition and smart operationalisation of local content policies.
Antonio Pedro, acting Executive-Secretary of UNECA, gave the advice at the 42nd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Wednesday.
Pedro said it is to help the continent better tap into global value chains.
He said Africa needed to accelerate implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
This is to build sufficient shock absorbers and resilience.
“Member parties should speed up the adoption of the national legislative measures that affect AfCFTA instruments internally.
“This should include updating their tariff books, custom processes, certificates of origin and the like,” Pedro said.
According to him, UNECA has supported the battery and electric vehicle initiative that could enable the continent to tap into a global value.
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This global value is expected to reach $8.8 trillion in the next three years, and $46 trillion by 2050.
“We are supporting the establishment of a Battery Centre of Excellence and transboundary Special Economic Zone.
“The zone will contribute to de-risk investment in the value chain.
“De-risking investments in Africa through improvements in soft and hard infrastructure must be our collective and individual priority,” Pedro said.
The UNECA chief also said Africa appears as a shining light with economic growth, or 3.9 per cent in 2023 and 2024 higher than many other regions’
“Yet, it is not high enough to compensate for the losses experienced in the past three years.”
He noted that the AfCFTA continental market provides the economy of scale to invest in manufacturing.
This will lead to increased intra-Africa trade, thereby bringing supply chains closer to home.
It will also inject a degree of self-sufficiency in essential products, such as medicines, food and fertilisers.
Pedro added that by fast-tracking the implementation of the AfCFTA, Africa will place itself in a position to provide solutions to global challenges.
This also include supply chain disruptions, food insecurity, climate change and migration problems. (Xinhua)
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