July 10. 2019: The European Union (EU) Commission has proposed $44.8 billion investment to support the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which is estimated to create around 10 million jobs in Africa.

Ranieri Sabatucci, EU ambassador to the African Union (AU), has declared in an opening address to a two-day Horn of Africa AfCFTA forum focusing on the pharmaceutical industry.

To prepare for this, economic partnership agreements (EPAs) including the deep and comprehensive free trade areas and others in North African countries including other trade issues with the EU should be exploited to the greatest extent.

The ambition is to further increase African exports and to attract investment in manufacturing and processing sectors and to encourage the creation of regional value chains through flexible rules of origin.

"The $44.8 billion of grants under the new Africa-European Alliance for jobs and growth is proposed from 2021-2027 and is predicted to be $64 billion in the next 10 years, creating over 16mn jobs in the process," he commented.

Vera Songwe, executive secretary, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), said, "AfCFTA is an economic development programme anchored around creating regional and continental champions, accelerating infrastructure development, energy and harmonising Africa's integration platforms. We must now move with speed to implement the AfCFTA and reap the benefits of the agreement.''

The theme of the forum, organised by the ECA, the government of Ethiopia, the African Union Commission (AUC) and EU was %u2018AfCFTA Implementation: Breaking Down Geographical, Logistical and Regulatory Barriers to Trade and Investment in the Horn to Boost Industrialisation: A Focus on the Pharmaceutical Industry.'

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