JUST IN: Bulawayo to host ZNCC AfCFTA conference
Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
BULAWAYO is set to host a high-level trade conference on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to help conscientise businesses about opportunities presented by the historic pact.
The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) would host the event, which will see key speakers and delegates unpack the significance of the AfCFTA, which was operationalised in January this year.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Dr Fredrick Shava, Industry and Commerce Minister, Dr Sekai Nzenza and Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, are expected to attend the event alongside distinguished business leaders.
Representatives of key Government officials, AfreximBank and ZimTrade are also expected to attend while AfCFTA secretary general, Mr Wamkele Mene, and other key stakeholders are expected to attend the conference virtually.
ZNCC Matabeleland regional chairman, Mr Lewis Herbst, said the forthcoming conference comes at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has adversely affected businesses in many ways. He said the conference should contribute suggestions towards post Covid-19 economic recovery.
“One of the solutions that has come up is the AfCFTA that has been signed. It (AfCFTA) will create a 52 to 53 percent chance of potential business increase,” he told journalists at a press briefing Monday.
“Where we are right now? l think not many people know this opportunity has presented itself. So, as a chamber we want to have a trade conference, which will discuss more details of the AfCFTA on the 7th of May, where they will be honourable guests.”
The trade deal creates a regional market of about 1,2 billion people with an estimated US$3,4 trillion a year contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Its launch has set the tone towards creating a regional economic community of Africa through which business can leverage on.