ACCRA, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- The adoption of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will give Africa a unified voice on the global stage, Albert Muchanga, Commissioner for Trade for the African Union (AU) has told Xinhua.
Speaking in an interview here during Ghana's three-day national consultative forum on the implementation of the AfCFTA, the AU official said that a unified voice for the continent is critical for the continent's trade negotiations across the world.
"In the global councils of commerce and economies, Africa will now be encouraged to speak with one voice. So that is going to give leverage to the continent across the world," he said.
The continent is set to start trading under the terms of the AfCFTA by July 2020. The free trade area initiative is expected to yield high returns to the continent in terms of increased intra-African trade.
Experts have said that this program will create economies of scale to enable producers to access a larger market of 1.27 billion people and encourage investors to come up with long-term and large scale investments.
"And when these investments come in, they are going to generate employment opportunities. Due to the liberalization of trade also, we expect the cost of goods and services to go down," Muchanga said.