Africa must speedily establish market to create more jobs and reduce poverty – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has canvassed for the speedy establishment of a single, unified market in Africa to increase trade, create more jobs and reduce poverty.
The President made the call while presenting Nigeria’s position in favour of the Report on the establishment of a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) and related issues presented by President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic, during the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Monday.
“It is Nigeria’s position that as African leaders and principal architects of our Union, we must now speed up action to conclude the negotiations and establish the CFTA.”
Noting that the continent had missed the timeline set by the African Union (AU) in January 2012 to establish the CFTA in 2017, he said African leaders still had the opportunity to set it up by March 2018.
While justifying Nigeria’s vote for the CFTA, the President said: “In a rapidly changing global economy, with much uncertainty, we believe that the establishment of a CFTA would provide Africa with tremendous opportunity to achieve significant growth driven by intra-African trade.”
According to him, while the stakes in setting up CFTA are no doubt very high, the benefits are wide-ranging and significant.
Buhari argued further that, “If we increase our trade, we grow faster, create more jobs and reduce poverty. Thus, with CFTA, our continent will be more integrated, united and prosperous.”
He noted that the “CFTA will carry significant welfare gains associated with increased production, consumption and revenue. It will generate more economic growth, enhance efficiency and support enterprise and innovation.”
The Nigerian leader urged his African colleagues to also look beyond the economic benefits of the CFTA, stressing that it will “be another step in uniting Africa and consolidating the architecture of the African Union.”

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