Home » AfCFTA: Shippers task African leaders on trade currency

AfCFTA: Shippers task African leaders on trade currency

by Samson Echenim

Towards the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), shippers have again called on African leaders to create a common trade currency.

The President, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping and Chairman, Maritime Group, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Aminu Umar in a chat with The Economy, noted that the challenges of implementing AfCFTA agreements are not just with only Nigeria as a lot of local laws and policies of individual countries would need to be worked on.

He said most importantly, African leaders would need to come up with a currency for trading in Africa in order to eliminate the difficulties posed by sourcing of dollar while doing business between the countries.

He said: “In order for AfCFTA to succeed we should also look at the currency of trade, because if a Nigerian company wants to trade with a Ghanaian company and they need to source dollars to transact this business, it is going to be a big hindrance.

“I reason that we can take an example from the Europe Union (EU). They do not need to source for another currency outside the EU to trade between EU countries. Africa should really look into the issue of currency of trade within the continent.”

He also advocated for deliberate action plan towards industrialisation in Africa, with countries focusing on products they have competitive advantage.

“We keep talking of developing our agricultural export. I think there should be a deliberate strategy for industrialising or processing our raw materials so that if a country has a competitive advantage on a particular product, it should be able to export it in massive volume to the neighbouring countries. If we don’t do this, it will not be an African trade but export outside African continent. We have seen this happened in China and we should from China,” he noted.

He continued: “There is a serious need to amend our laws and adopt the appropriate policies, regarding currency. Which currency do we trade with?

“I am hopeful for the necessary changes to begin to happen with the current government, which has shown interest in this, because as at now, Nigeria is not fully ready. We also need to build capacity, a lot of investment in infrastructure, like the container vessels. I think we will get there.

“But do we need AfCFTA? I say yes. Do we want it to be done immediately? Yes. Is it going to benefit the African continent? The answer is yes. We have seen how it is benefiting Europe. Europe has a similar trade and that is why we are trying to do something like that.”

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