In a conversation with British-Sudanese billionaire, Mo Ibrahim over the weekend, Africa’s richest man and foremost industrialist, Aliko Dangote raised some vital issues about the free trade agreement ahead of the ratification.
According to Dangote, African government needs to work on regional trade to promote economic ties and development before swinging fully into the continental trade agreement.
He explained that there is no free movement within regional markets citing the case of the Benin Republic which Africa does not allow his Cement product but rather import from China.
Aliko Dangote lamented on how the African Continental Free Trade Agreement will be implemented. He said the key issue is not about the signatories but implementation by African governments.’’My issues is when we signed,what about implementation ,which is key and missing” he said.
On the issue of strict border moment within African Nations, he said there is a need for more collaboration from other African nations in areas on economic integration and open border adding that it has been an area he keeps discussing.
Another issue is the African passport. The passport is not working. The African Union passport is a document set to replace existing nationally-issued passports and exempt bearers from having to obtain any visas for all 55 states in Africa.
He cited an example of how Angola stamped an AU passport because he was allowed free entrance into the country.
”I had to apply for visa, and intentionally, when I applied for the visa, I also applied on the African Union passport and I gave them that too to stamp on it.”
He said if African countries can grant British, America and European citizens visa of arrival while can’t they grant free entrance to African citizens.
Source :Fatima Abubakar Sadick/mynewsafrica.net