Brazzaville — President William Ruto has called on African leaders to accelerate the realisation of the Continental Free (AfCFTA) agreement.
The President said AfCFTA will increase intra-Africa trade thereby creating jobs and wealth for the people.President Ruto noted that Visa restrictions between African countries and tariffs are unnecessary hindrances to trade.
“It is time we realise the importance of trading amongst ourselves and allowing goods, services, people and ideas to move freely across the continent,” he said
He noted that trade among the East African Community countries had increased thanks to the removal of visa requirements and tariffs.
He made the remarks during the Summit of the Three Basins on Biodiversity Ecosystems, and Tropical Forests, in Brazzaville, the Republic of Congo.
Present were Presidents Sassou Nguesso (Congo), Felix Tshekedi (DRC), Evariste Ndayishimiye (Burundi) and Brice Nguema (Gabon). Others were the Vice-President Jessica Alupo of Uganda and Prime Minister of Rwanda Edourdo Ngirente, among other heads of government and delegations.
President Ruto called for reforms in the international financial architecture that he said was unjust to African countries.
“A fair financial architecture that treats Africa like other countries is not too much to ask,” he said.
President Ruto, who is also the chair of the Committee of the African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change, called for fair allocation of climate action financing.
He said it was counterproductive for Africa, which holds the most renewable energy resources, to receive the lowest funding.
“Despite having 40% of the world’s renewable energy resources, Africa as a continent can only manage to receive only 2% of the $ 3 trillion renewable energy investment made over the past decade,” he said.
He observed that acknowledging and providing incentives to countries in tropical forest basins for forest protection was a smart climate action.
“The Amazon, Borneo-Mekong and South East Asia and the Congo river basins and tropical rainforests are vital and indispensable global ecological public goods which provide essential biodiversity services for humanity. Their integrity ought to be, without question, the foremost priority of the international community,” he said.
President Ruto appealed to African countries to use climate change to turn around the continent’s fortune.
He noted Africa has the largest percentage of renewable energy and mineral resources that are critical to global clean energy transition.
“For the first time Africa is not a victim, Africa is not part of the problem, Africa is part of the solution,” he said.
The President warned against exporting raw minerals out of the continent saying the move amounts to exporting jobs meant for Africans.
He called for partnership in the development of the Hinga Dam in the DRC Congo which he said has the potential to power 12 countries.