African experts and policy makers on Saturday expressed hope that the African continental trade zone agreement (AfCFTA) will boost domestic drug production by abandoning drug addiction.
Experts and policy makers, drawn from the Horn of African countries, made a statement during a two-day trade forum on the future of trade as the U.S. Free Trade Agreement, which took place from 28 to 29 June in the capital of Ethiopia, came into force. Abeba.
"AfCFTA provides an opportunity for economies of scale, a disadvantage that has hindered African drug production," experts and policy makers said in their final statement following their two-day meeting.
Director of Regional Integration and Trade at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Stephen Karingi, said during a meeting on Saturday that a regional trade forum, focusing exclusively on the future outlook of the pharmaceutical sector within AfCFTA, called for the introduction of domestic policies which can be used to support the pharmaceutical industry, such as investment guarantees, support, fiscal incentives, and local content requirements.
"However, we should also consider this issue from a regional perspective," Karingi said, adding that "we can have a political space to promote local production, but not to the extent that it prevents trade flow."
The ECA Director also stressed that the African continent has "significant expertise in the construction and development of the pharmaceutical industry on the continent".
"The African traditional medicine area is where there is room for African innovation, but we need to improve commercialization. This is an area where many micro-small and medium enterprises operate, "said Karingi.
Experts and policy makers, during the regional trade forum, also stressed that regional centers of excellence could be used to overcome human resources issues and limited resources for research, development and testing.
They have further recognized the close link between peace and commerce and the need for governments to better engage the private sector if AfCFTA wants to achieve its goals.
They also discussed the next steps needed to operationalize the Free Trade Agreement and National Implementation Strategies.
They highlighted "the great potential of AfCFTA for the world's youngest continent by 2050. It is expected to have 2 billion people."
They also stressed that horn of African countries "critically examined how the AfCFTA process by creating the kind of diversification of exports needed to create jobs with intensive workforce for young people in Africa in sectors such as production and agro-industry is in line with the youth issue. unemployment in a sustainable and just way. "
The Forum, jointly organized by the ECA, the African Union (AU), the Government of Ethiopia and the European Union (EU), was held on the subject of "Implementing AfCFTA: Breaking Geographic, Logistic and Regulatory Barriers to Trade" and Horticulture Investment Promotion: focus on the pharmaceutical industry. "
According to the African Union (AU), the African Free Trade Agreement, which last month approved 22 countries, meeting the threshold for its entry into force laid the foundations for what could be the world's largest free trade zone by the number of participating countries, covering more of 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product of 2.5 trillion US dollars.
The African Free Trade Agreement is envisaged that by 2020 it will increase the level of trade within Africa by more than 52 percent, according to the ECA.