In efforts to prepare Namibia to fully seize opportunities under the much anticipated African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the trade ministry through the Namibia Trade Forum and in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme Namibia yesterday launched an awareness campaign.
The stakeholders are undertaking a series of awareness campaigns across the country, to ensure Namibia is on par with other African countries and is ready to fully benefit from the AfCFTA trade opportunities, which can greatly impact Namibian businesses.
At the launch, deputy trade minister Verna Sinimbo said the AfCFTA is expected to increase intra-African trade as well as enhance regional and continental value chains, through the establishment of viable and competitive industries on the continent.
“This could culminate in innovation, employment opportunities and wealth creation to the citizenry of the African people, especially women and youth,” said Sinimbo.
She added that Namibia, within the framework of Southern African Customs Union (SACU), is currently finalising its tariff offer to the AfCFTA. Thereafter, Namibia is expected to soon launch a national AfCFTA implementation strategy and action plan.
The deputy minister continued that it is imperative for Namibian business communities to prepare and take full advantage of the benefits offered under the agreement. This entails increasing production capacities, diversification and adding value to local raw materials as well as to ensure that Namibian produce find its place of exports on the African continent.
“It is also important to note that the Pan African Payment and Settlement System has been developed to ensure that trade under the AfCFTA will be done through African currencies. This means that, Namibian exporters, including informal traders, will now be able to settle their imports using the local currency and receive payments in the local currency when exporting goods and services within the continent. This will make trade easier and reduces trading costs to the minimal,” Sinimbo explained.