By Merit Ibe

At the margins of the 41st ordinary session of the executive council of the African Union, in Lusaka, Zambia, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and Equity Group  signed a Memorandum of Understanding  to deepen the economic integration  of the African continent. The partnership seeks to implement  the AFCFTA and the AfCFTA private sector strategy through ‘Africa recovery and resilience plan, which focuses on acceleration of economic recovery and resilience in Africa in a post COVID- 19 environment. The initiative is designed to showcase  a framework  for  the socio-economic transformation of the african continent based on six integrated pillars. It is  aimed at catalysing  a natural resource-led transformation  of Africa, enhancing agriculture  output, formalising extractive value chains and connecting  these  primary sectors  to global supply chains that are broken  and require diversification and secured sourcing.

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During the signing,  H.E Wamkele, Secretary General  of the AfCFTA,  Secretariat, noted that “the AfCFTA  will ensure the continent is well positioned  to overcome  crises such as COVID-19, leveraging on the framework of the agreement.”