The Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area,( AfCFTA) , Wamkele Mene, has disclosed that e-commerce giants, Google and Amazon, have approached the Secretariat for investment in AfCFTA .
According to him, discussions are yet to be finalized on the necessary regulatory framework that will be used for the digital trade aspect of AfCFTA.
AfCFTA, which is scheduled to take off in January 2021, is a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business people and investments, to accelerate the establishment of the Continental Customs Union and the African Customs Union.
It is also expected to increase the volume of trade within the continent by US 35billion annually by 2022.
While addressing the diplomatic community from Africa Member States based in Accra Wamkele Mene, said the necessary steps would be taken to ensure AfCFTA operates on a good digital platform.
“We have an opportunity with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement as we implemented to negotiate a digital trade e-commerce protocol per the agreement that will set the regulatory framework for e-commerce to take place in Africa for digital trade to take place in Africa, and in this regard we have already been approached by Google and Amazon who are interested in investing where of course we establish the right regulatory framework to invest in data storage centers on the African continent.”
The target market for the AfCFTA is projected to rise from an estimated 1.27 billion to 1.7 billion by 2030, out of which about 600 million will be in the middle class.
In terms of aggregate Gross Domestic Product (GDP), this will range from $2.1 trillion to $3.4 trillion.
For investments and consumer spending, the AfCFTA is expected to attract an estimated $4 trillion.