Eswatini bids to host AfCFTA secretariat

Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Manqoba Khumalo, said the prospects of hosting an African secretariat in the country were very exciting for the Kingdom of Eswatini. Photo: Ontime Investments

Johannesburg, South Africa (ADV) – The Kingdom of Eswatini government has made a bid to host the upcoming Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat.

AfCFTA is the African Union’s initiative whose main objectives are to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, and thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the Customs Union.

The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Manqoba Khumalo, told the Times of Swaziland that the prospects of hosting an African secretariat in the country were very exciting for the Kingdom of Eswatini.

“It is very encouraging that most of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), countries are already beginning to openly support the country’s bid. It is such kind of support that emboldens my ministry to step up our efforts to achieve this important national objective,” he said.

Khumalo further explained that they were aware that there were competing against big countries, but he said competition breeds excellence and as a country they needed to embrace it.

“The days when countries were freely given projects on a platter just for the asking are now long gone as every project now entails fierce competition among peer countries,” he noted

The Kingdom has only two months to prepare itself before the bid team arrives to assess readiness to host the AfCFTA. The country’s political leaders have already taken a leading role in lobbying for support from neighbouring countries.

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