Commerce,Trade and Industry Minister CHRISTOPHER YALUMA says Government is working towards ratifying the Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area -AfCTA by May 2020.
Mr. YALUMA says so far government has undertaken necessary consultations with the private sector, civil society, non state actors, and academia among others on the implementation of the Agreement.
He says government has emphasized on sensitization to stakeholders on the value and benefits that will come be because of Zambia’s participation in the AfCFTA.
Mr YALUMA was speaking at a Public seminar launching a Special Study report on the AfCFTA Implementation being held on the sidelines of the 33rd African Union Ordinary Seession Heads of State Summit.
Mr. YALUMA however further said Zambia was fully aware of the potential challenges that could arise in an event that the country was not sufficiently prepared for its participation.
The Minister said the AFCTA will mainly be driven by the private sector who must have products and services to compete in a larger market.
Mr YALUMA said Zambia was continuously working towards enhancing capacity of the private sector in order to ensure that their goods and services were export ready.
President EDGAR LUNGU signed the AfCTA on 10th February ,2019 in Addis Ababa.
The Agreement comes into effect on 1st July, 2020.
The AfCFTA once operational will bring together 55 African Countries with a combined population of more than one billion people and a combined gross Domestic product of more than $3.4 trillion .
This is according to a statement released to the media by First Secretary for Press and Tourism at the Zambian Embassy in Ethiopia INUTU MWANZA .