This is a speech delivered at the 3rd annual Biashara Services and Products Africa (BiSPA) Conference and Exhibition held in Johannesburg by Lerato Maku. Administrative Executive of the Future Africa International…

As Future Africa International, we are elated about the Africa Continental Free Trade Area as it opens up great opportunities which we will grab as a non-profit pan African company that fosters African youth Leadership Development, Entrepreneurship and Climate action. You will all agree with us that it is difficult to imagine how this sublime vision can be successfully implemented without harnessing our strength as a youthful continent. It is therefore imperative that we deliberately and consistently inspire, influence and arm the youth with the requisite skills that will enable our African economies to tap into a pool of opportunities tied to this initiative. 

Our vision as an organization is to be the leading international youth-oriented company that orchestrates the moulding of generations of young Africans who are ardent climate action champions, competent entrepreneurs and outstanding leaders. This fits perfectly well with the agenda of the ACFTA.

According to the World Bank, the AfCFTA presents a major opportunity for African countries to bring 30 million people out of extreme poverty and to raise the incomes of 68 million others who live on less than $5.50 per day.

With the implementation of AfCFTA, trade facilitation measures that cut red tape and simplify customs procedures would drive $292 billion of the $450 billion in potential income gains.

Implementing AfCFTA would help usher in the kinds of deep reforms necessary to enhance long-term growth in African countries.