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Saturday 5 December 2020

Morocco Reaffirms Commitment to Implementing AfCFTA, Minister Says

Morocco Reaffirms Commitment to Implementing AfCFTA, Minister Says

Morocco reaffirms its commitment to implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA), Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, Mohcine Jazouli, said Saturday, adding that it this is a pillar of African economic integration.

Jazouli, who led the Moroccan delegation at the opening of the 13th Extraordinary Session of the African Union Heads of State and Government on the AfCFTA, stressed that the Kingdom of Morocco - whose process of ratification of the Continental agreement is in its final phase - reaffirms its attachment to the implementation of this agreement, as a pillar of African economic integration, noting that the Kingdom also reiterates its readiness to contribute to the advancement of work leading to the operationalization of the AfCFTA and the start of trading exchanges.

He also underlined, at the opening of this extraordinary summit held by videoconference, that Morocco has decided to make the socio-economic development of Africa among its top priorities, adding that Africa concentrates 2/3 of Morocco's foreign direct investments (FDI), as the Kingdom has invested, since 2008, more than 3 billion dollars on the continent and becomes, today, the largest African investor in West Africa and the second largest African investor across the continent.

Jazouli said, in this regard, that Morocco favors intra-African investment projects, adding that in the region of West Africa alone, the Kingdom has launched 13 large-scale projects to strengthen regional integration in this area.

According to him, January 1, 2021 will mark a historic date for Africa: that of the effective launch of trade within the framework of the AfCFTA, which constitutes, "for all of us Africans, a new step on the way to the unity and integration of the continent."

Jazouli affirmed that "this new space which we create together" offers us the possibility of transforming on the spot the raw materials which abound Africa and "to speed up the implementation of an African industrial base to meet our needs", noting that it is first and foremost a space of complementarity through the creation of interconnected regional growth poles and a space conducive to comparative advantages, as well as a new tool for the Regional Economic Communities ( CER) and African integration.

The AfCFTA is above all employment opportunities for the 12 million people who join the labor market each year, he stated, adding that the agreement will help unleash African creative genius, create bridges between regions, facilitate intra-regional trade and accelerate the integration of the RECs.

"Our efforts should focus on establishing effective coordination mechanisms, through effective synergies," he pointed out, while underlining the importance of cooperation in this regard.

The 13th Extraordinary Session of the African Union Heads of State and Government on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) opened Saturday via videoconference.

The Session is expected to adopt the report of the leader and champion of the AfCFA H.E Issoufou Mahamadou, President of the Republic of Niger, as well as the decision on the start of trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area.

One high moment during the summit will be the handover of the instruments for the start of trading, by the Chairperson of the Gommission of the African Union Commission (AUC) H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat, to the member states and to the Secretary General of AfCFTA H.E Mr. Wamkele Mene

The AfCFTA aims to create an African market of 1.27 billion consumers with a cumulative GDP of around 2.3 to 3.4 trillion US dollars.

The Agreement establishing the AfCFTA was signed on March 21, 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. The Agreement entered into force on May 30, 2019 after the deposit of the 22nd instrument of ratification. As of date, 33 African countries have ratified the AfCFTA Legal Instrument.

MAP 05 December 2020