By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
COUNTRIES such as Zambia need to put in place measures to address the specific national challenges that hinder the development of the manufacturing sectors to fully utilise opportunities created by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The AfCFTA has the potential to transform Africa into an industrialised continent due to the many benefits it has for the growth of the manufacturing sectors.
This is according to the Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) Assistant Membership Officer, Richard Zulu.
Mr Zulu however said to fully utilise the opportunities created by the AfCFTA, member states needed to put in place measures to address the specific national challenges that hindered the development of the manufacturing sectors and trade in their respective countries.
He said while the AfCFTA presented many benefits to the manufacturing sectors in Africa, member countries needed to position themselves well to benefit from the opportunities under the AfCFTA.
“Most African countries for example are characterised by little investments in research, technology and education, resulting in huge skill gaps which negatively affect the growth of the manufacturing sectors.
“The problem is exacerbated by the huge deficit in economic infrastructure which makes trade difficult. Therefore, member states need to put in place solid measures to address the above challenges if they are to rip the benefits of joining the AfCFTA,” Mr Zulu said in his write up on AfCFTA
He stressed that the huge market provided by the AfCFTA would also made it conducive to establish continental value chains.
Mr Zulu indicated that one country or a group could supply raw materials while the other could specialise in the production of intermediate products and the others in finished products.
“The creation of continental value chains will not only increase intra-African trade but also increase the probability of integrating Africa in more sophisticated global value chains,” Mr Zulu said.