The African Union takes stock of Zlecaf and wants to rethink industrialization in Africa

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The African Union’s double summit on the industrialization of Africa and on Zlecaf ended in Niamey on Friday 25 November. In the morning, the ten Heads of State worked on the industrialization of Africa, a necessity. In the afternoon, the Heads of State discussed the Zlecaf.

If there is one thing on which the heads of state and government present at this summit remained unanimous, it is the innumerable potentialities that the continent possesses which could play in its favor in this quest for industrialization. To achieve this, he will have to meet certain challenges, such as the question of energy and advanced technologies, explains our correspondent in Niamey, Mahamoud Kaba Diakite.

According to Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, investment in energy could operate as a vehicle for regional integration and promotions of industry, because we know that energy consumption remains very low on the continent, more than 600 million Africans do not have never known electricity. »

It emerged from this summit that there is a need to rethink the industrialization model of Africa. To win this bet, the Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum, designated by his peers champion of inclusive and sustainable industrialization, proposes the pooling of efforts and the development of partnerships with industrial powers. “ We will win to draw lessons from the experiences of the industrialized world and from the unique experiences of each other. The future of industry and commerce is in Africa. »

Towards the largest economic zone in the world

There was also talk of the African Continental Free Trade Area (Zlecaf) since this summit was also the occasion for the first extraordinary session of the free trade area. Senegalese President Macky Sall, also current AU Chairman, whose speech was read by Foreign Minister Aïssata Tall Sall, called on states to quickly ratify the agreement establishing the Zlecaf. Of the 55 member states of the African Union, 54 have already signed the agreement. And to date, 44 states have already ratified the agreement. Which makes experts say that the Zlecaf is the largest economic zone in the world.

The meeting concerning the Zlecaf was held behind closed doors all afternoon, reports our correspondent in Niamey, Moussa Kaka. Mahamadou Issoufou, the Zlecaf champion, presented his progress report to the ten heads of state gathered and in the presence of the chairman of the African Union commission, Moussa Faki. It was adopted unanimously. According to an expert, the adopted report covers three protocols: investment in Africa, competition policy and the protocol on intellectual property.

According to sources close to the session, the adoption of this report will make it possible to move forward in the process of implementing the agreement establishing the Zlecaf. This area is 90% open for trade between African Union (AU) countries.

►Also read: African Union Summit – For the industrialization of Africa, “we must rethink the models”

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