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AfCFTA set to relieve Zimbabwe’s bulging economic bellies

July 5, 2021

By Nevson Mpofu

Deputy Minister David Musabayana

My recent attention to proceedings of a meeting with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Harare was an eye  opener about the huge work African Continental free trade area , AfCFTA is doing. This organisation is working best for development of Africa in terms of free movement of goods in a liberalised  business  platfoam in the African continent .

The Deputy Minister David Musabayana presenting a paper said AfCFTA will line up  effective business for economic growth as high quality , competitively priced products continue to flood domestic market .

“”Trade liberalisation under African Continental free trade area (afcfta) agreement has provisions on trade remedies to defend domestic industries against unexpected import surges , dumping or subsidised imports””

“”This will automatically serve developing countries like Zimbabwe. We are set to be relieved by AfCFTA””.

Deputy Minister Musabayana said further on that the Government of Zimbabwe is committed in working closely as partners with local companies , women and youth and relevant stakeholders to take advantage of opportunities to be created by AfCFTA as stated in the National  Implementation Strategy for AfCFTA  to be launched soon .

“”Government is fully committed to work closely as partners  with local companies , women and youth and other stakeholders to take advantage of the opportunities to be created by AfCFTA . This is espoused in the AfCFTA National Implementation Strategy which will be launched soon. Existing structures will be strengthened to ensure proper implementation on AfCFTA agreement”” , he pointed out .

There is outcry that members of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce   are worried about the inability to process and export finished products . ZNCC said dormination of primary commodities which is 75% of the export basket shows  sad state of affairs ,

“”The state of affairs is sad because of dormination of primary commodities which is 75% of  the export basket . The agenda remains to move up the value chain and be involved in value addition “”, Tinashe Manzungu Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce President said .

A number of experts say while big business blocks like AfCFTA presents opportunities for growth , weak economies still require some levels of protection to avoid collapse of fragile industries.

The fact and straight point is economies world wide are moving towards free market of which business individuals are free to do business without much restrictions , at liberal wellbeing in a free country “”.

“”There is fear cheaper goods will flow in the domestic market as the bloc takes shape. This presents the biggest challenge and threat to domestic industries that have been producing goods at high cost. There is fear such big industries will ship goods to markets at tight competitive prices.”” says an expert who is an economist with ECoBank in Harare.

PanAfricanVisions digs further to extricate gleanings of information that …,

….the quality of products in the domestic market has been compromised by lack of capital and old industrial machinery all of which may force the market to rely on imported products.

An Investment Analyst Enock Rukarwa said to some extent AfCFTA is timely initiative to the economy as it forces local industries to innovate with speed in matching up with regional competition

“”To some extent AfCFTA is timely initiative to the economy as it forces local industries to innovate with speed in matching up with regional competition””

“”Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole is in infancy stage in terms of industrial growth as it requires levels of protectionism for it to survive . This is because the country is using the United States of America dollar. The situation makes our exports relatively more expensive compared to  other African countries . Devaluation of a currency is usually encouraged to promote exports “” ,the expert concluded.

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