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AFDB boss outlines what African countries need to do for continental free trade agreement to become a reality

The African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina has made an appeal to African governments to do more to help break down all trade barriers in the region.

African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina

According to him, he believes the move would be one of the surest ways to aid successful implementation of the Continental Free Trade Agreement.

Dr Asdesina made these remarks at a presidential dialogue on ‘Boosting Africa’s Economic Integration’ on the sidelines of the African Development Bank meetings in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

He said research has shown that countries with open borders have greatly benefited from improved foreign direct investments, adding that “To integrate Africa, we should bring down all the walls. The free movement of people, and especially labour mobility, are crucial for promoting investments.”

African Development Bank boss then noted that African governments must also work towards non-tariff barriers which will also help in achieving the Continental Free Trade Agreement.

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Free movement of persons and goods

Recent research by the African Union, the African Union Commission and the Regional Economic Communities, on the Africa Visa Openness Index, showed that the region is making some progress on the free movement of people.

For instance, it showed that in 2018, Africans did not require a visa to enter 25% of countries in the region, they can get a visa on arrival in only 24% of the countries, but still need a visa to enter 51% of the countries.

Ghanaians, for instance, can travel to 27 out of the 54countries within the continent without needing a visa.

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