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ECA chief urges Cameroon to ratify Africa free trade deal

YAOUNDE, April 17 Xinhua | The chief of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on Wednesday urged Cameroon to ratify the African Continental Free trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

The agreement is the tool that is going to help Cameroon overcome “the storms” of the global economic environment, ECA Executive Secretary Vera Songwe said at the opening of the National AfCFTA Information and Sensitization Forum co-organized by ECA and the Government of Cameroon in partnership with the European Union in the capital, Yaounde.

“We are really hoping that Cameroon ratifies this AfCFTA because I think there is no doubt that our country and many others on the continent needs additional investment. With the AfCFTA you get investments that you need to be able to revamp your economy and more importantly create jobs,” said Songwe, who is also a Cameroonian.

Cameroon was among the first African countries to sign the agreement last year but it’s still laying the groundwork for the entry into force of the AfCFTA.

“If we are able to ratify this AfCFTA, Cameroon will start having value addition. We will be able to process our cotton and sell to Ethiopia. I think the big story of the continental free trade agreement is that value addition, which essentially means that value and quality of the goods and the resources that are put into making the goods, stay on the continent,” she added.

Twenty-two African nations have already ratified the agreement, the minimum threshold expected to approve the deal among the 55 members of the African Union.

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