Addis Ababa (ENA) February 28/2023 Ethiopia is taking steps that catalyze intra-Africa trade and regional economic integration, Acting Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Antonio Pedro lauded.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, Acting Executive Secretary Pedro said that the core of African Continental Free Trade Area is about promoting intra-African trade and facilitating the emergence of globally competitive regional value chains.
We applaud the steps that Ethiopia is taking with a view to integrating its production systems with the rest of the opportunities in IGAD and Eastern Africa in general and the rest of the world, he added.
Ethiopian Airlines, as the largest carrier on the continent, plays a very important integrating role in facilitating the movement of people across the continent and beyond the continent, he stated, and added that it was also able to developed huge cargo capacity that enabled trade to continue during COVID-19.
“With the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), I see a picture where the East Africa energy poll which is an important part to export and trade on energy for Ethiopia to play a very important role in facilitating access to energy; energy for citizens and production systems and so on and so forth. So there are many things already that are being done here in Ethiopia that are the catalysts to the emergence of regional value chains,” Pedro elaborated.
It is absolutely critical and important to harness all of the continent’s potential and our opportunities, the Acting Executive Secretary pointed out, and added “one of our major transformational initiatives these days is developing batteries and electric vehicles value chain on the continent.”
He emphasized that Africa has all the access and resources for electric vehicles citing the move taken by the government of Ethiopia to promote the use of electric vehicles in the country.
“The policy decisions that the government of Ethiopia has taken for example, to foster electric vehicle sales in Ethiopia will provide an opportunity to expand demand for electric vehicles. And we need to see other companies to have similar kinds of policy stances where they’re basically saying that we want all of our transport systems to be electric. So that will expand demand in Africa and then enable us to go from producing batteries on the continent to producing electric vehicles,” Pedro noted.
Acting Executive Secretary Pedro underscored “And if you do that, then the market potential is 7.7 trillion USD by 2025 and 46 trillion USD by 2050, so this is the kinds of actions that we need to take heart and soul to make sure that AfCFTA works for Africa and have globally competitive value chain on the continent.”