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Incorporate AfCFTA in school curriculum

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Mark Katsonga Phiri

African Union Southern Africa Regional Office (AU-Saro) Mission head David Claude Pierre has said Malawi needs to incorporate the African Continental Free Trade Area in its curriculum so that it reaps the most from the agreement.

Pierre was speaking in Lilongwe on Friday on the sidelines of the High Level Stakeholders Conference on AfCFTA.

In his presentation on the Role of AfCFTA in Achieving the Malawi2063, National Planning Commission Director General Thomas Munthali said the AfCFTA should principally be viewed as Africa’s tool for creating or harnessing sustainable wealth and moving the continent and its countries into self-reliance.

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According to Munthali, for Malawi, the AfCFTA is a sure vehicle for operationalising the National Export Strategy (NESII) which is Malawi’s clear quest for economic diversification.

He said the Malawi 2063 talks about positioning Malawi as a competitive player on the global market, exporting services and manufactured goods and advancing technology.

“The Malawi 2063 and the AfCFTA give us a footing on which to anchor our development agenda. There is convergence in terms of development priorities.

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“We intend to take advantage of these to deepen regional integration and use them as spring-boards for fostering greater bilateral agreements and global trade connections,” Munthali said.

He added that the AfCFTA would be instrumental in helping Malawi realise a number of milestones in the Malawi 2063 including boosting the share of agriculture exports, other than tobacco, from 34.2 percent in 2016 to 65 percent in 2030.

Another milestone to benefit from the AfCFTA is the boosting of the share of processed agricultural products to total agricultural exports by 25 percent by 2030.

Malawi also seeks to up the share of non-agricultural products in exports 20 from percent in 2016 to 25 percent by 2030.

The high-level multi stakeholder conference was jointly organised by the AU-Saro, Government of Malawi, Uneca Southern Regional Office and the AfCFTA Secretariat.

Minister of Trade and Industry Mark Katsonga Phiri said the role of governments is to create a conducive business environment for the private sector to operate with minimum hassles, adding that the AfCFTA is one such positive environment for the private sector in Africa.

“It is important, therefore, for the private sector to produce and export high quality products in order to be competitive on the global market. In the modern commercial world, it is only innovative and competitive businesses which will succeed on the market,” Katsonga Phiri said.

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