President Ruto

President William Ruto has highlighted the important of overhauling Africa’ s infrastructure to boost trade and competitiveness in the region. Speaking on Monday at the opening of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) meeting in Nairobi, Ruto called for collaboration between the governments, private sectors and development partners to secure sustainable funding for necessary improvements. “Africa must fix its infrastructure to stimulate trade in the region,” Ruto said.

However, President Ruto said the continent must establish a sustainable funding to accelerate the overhaul of its infrastructure adding that the governments, the private sector and development partners must work together to further this cause. He further noted that the lack of efficient transport system continues to impede investments. “This has made it costly to do business, thereby reducing the continent’s competitiveness,” he said.

The President also called for the speeding up of the establishment of a common payment and settlement system to support trade between African countries. “The system will be designed to eliminate the challenges of cross-border payments. This will accelerate intra-Africa trade,” he said.

The President appealed to countries yet to sign and ratify AfCFTA to join its peers in fashioning the next global economic powerhouse adding that AfCFTA will stimulate commerce within Africa, generate jobs, enhance manufacturing and drive economic growth.

“If actualized by 2035, AfCFTA will help more than 30 million people escape extreme poverty,” Ruto said adding that, “It will also expand intra-African exports by about 80 per cent.”

He also called on African leaders to strengthen the African Union by allowing it to negotiate on behalf of the continent. “We can negotiate better if we are a unit,” he charged.

Comoros President and Chairperson of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government Azali Assoumani, Champion of the AfCFTA and Former Niger President Issoufou Mahamadou, Secretary General of AfCFTA Wamkele Mene, Cabinet and Principal secretaries, the private sector among others were present.

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