The proliferation of currencies on the African continent is said to be a set back to the promotion of regional trade in Africa and the Continental Free Trade Agreement, Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Secretariat has said.
This challenge will soon however be a thing of the past as work on the pan-African payment system by the Africa Eximbank and the Continental Free Trade Secretariat nears completion.
Speaking at a public lecture in honour of business man, Daniel Mackorley, Wamkele Mene hinted that work on the common trading currency is far advanced.
He believes this will help reduce the use of individual country’s currency in transaction, which is costing African nations about $5 billion annually.
“We have 42 currencies in Africa and anytime we want to trade among ourselves, one has to change their currency into the dollar and the recipient will change the dollar into their local currency, a situation which costs about $5 billion, which is move out of Africa annually.
With the coming onboard of the pan African trading system, members can transact business without any hindrance aided with other technological platforms the secretariate is deploying “he said.
“Africa needs to industrialize to create jobs. The population is young and growing fast, and with a population of about 1.3 billion, it is the second highest of any region after Asia. Due to rapid rural-urban migration the population in cities will triple by 2050. It was estimated that the African labour force would swell by more than 170 million people between 2010 and 2020. If there are no productive jobs for these people, the fight against poverty will be lost given that the most important determinant of whether someone in Africa is in poverty, or not, is whether they have a job”.
For his part, Chairman of McDan Group of Companies, Daniel Mackorley used the opportunity to announce a proposal to establish an African Centre of Trade Research at the Law faculty of the University of Professional Studies.
He also donated a bus to the school to aid in their transportation system.
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