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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, is calling on local young entrepreneurs to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Nandi-Ndaitwah made the remarks during a public lecture on the 60th anniversary of the African Union in Windhoek.

Nandi-Ndaitwah believes that the AfCFTA has the potential to lift Africans out of poverty, ultimately bringing about the continent's prosperity.

"The AfCFTA establishes a single market for goods and services, facilitated by the free movement of persons, in order to deepen the economic integration and prosperity of the African continent. To date, 54 AU member states have signed the agreement establishing the AfCFTA. It is imperative that our negotiators, under Phase II Negotiations, strengthen the implementation of the AfCFTA because its full implementation will drive industrialization, promote economic structural transformation, and deepen regional integration."

She says African countries must diversify and reduce their reliance on a few primary commodities.

"African countries need to focus on developing their manufacturing industries and value chains, promoting innovation and technology transfer, and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in entering new markets. Namibia has invested heavily in the logistics sector, geared towards trade facilitation, and has a rich road network, rated the best in Africa. The country has also enhanced its harbour infrastructure to ensure trade flows are increased to and from our neighbouring countries."

The Minister, however, stressed the importance of first silencing the guns in Africa if the continent wants to drive its developmental agenda.

She said Africans need to rededicate themselves to ending conflicts.

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MIRCO

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Author
Frances Shaahama