Story by Tichaona Kurewa
THE need to use African currencies in transactions on the continent as part of implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area, dominated proceedings at the official opening of the 9th Edition of the Africa Public Service Day commemorations in Victoria Falls.
Several African countries, including Zimbabwe have officially joined the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which seeks to create a single market for goods and services.
To ensure the continent benefits, the African Union has identified the use of African currencies as vital tool in expediting intra-Africa trade for Africa to reap huge benefits from the AfCFTA.
During the official opening of the 2023 Africa Public Service Day celebrations in Victoria Falls this Friday, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare said the use of African currencies will give the continent control over its economic wellbeing.
“Why should African countries trade using the USD when trading among themselves, we need to promote local currencies.Why should Zimbabwe use the USD when transacting with Zambia which is just across the river as well as with Botswana which is right here and South Africa.Why should it be like that?This can be settled using local currencies, we need to wake up as Africa in order to make sure that we solve this problem,” he said.
The African Union says the operationalisation of the AfCFTA is well on course.
“Its already operational, like what I said the operationalisation we also need to look at the impact on the ground as to how the regulations and how the different stakeholders can act and further empowered on this very ambitious AfCFTA.
From the legal perspective the operationalisation is there, but we need to continuously strengthen our efforts in order to bring all the stakeholders together in order to empower and have impact on statistics and the figures and the capacities of all stakeholders for the full benefit and use of the AfCFTA,” explained Director General of the African Union Commission, H.E. Ambassador Fathallah Sijilmassi.
As far as trade is concerned, Africa contributes only three percent of global trade, even though it accounts for 17 percent of the world’s population.
Intra-Africa trade presently stands at only 15 percent.