Government of the Republic of Mauritius

03/20/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/20/2017 06:08

Prime Minister calls for a single African market to promote African goods and services

GIS
- 20 March, 2017: The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Jugnauth, called for the creation of a vibrant single African market through the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) as pledged by African leaders to facilitate the flow of goods and services within Africa.

The Prime Minister was speaking this morning at the opening of the two-day African Economic Platform (AEP) organised by the African Union at Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa, in Balaclava. He pointed out that the 'Make in Africa' theme that will be subject of discussion during the AEP be developed into the motto 'Make Across Africa' so as to drive our industrial ambitions of creating a single market to sell our products.

As the manufacturing process starts spanning the continent, regional value chains will eventually develop and boost economic growth, he said. Mr Jugnauth further added that the CFTA would no doubt contribute to unleash the huge trade potential of the continent and create the right conditions to mobilise both African and Foreign Direct Investment, with the ensuing positive spin on economic development, job creation and the fight against poverty.

The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the AEP, which is opening a new chapter in the history of the African Union, will help take concrete actions for the establishment of the single African Market by December 2017. This is a prerequisite condition for making Africa more self-reliant and economically independent and which will eventually meet the aspirations of the Africa agenda 2063.

'When Africa stands together in solidarity, when we start 'Making across Africa' for a single African market, we will see Africa rising. As leaders of the continent, it will be our responsibility to find innovative ways to finance this vision of a united and integrated Africa. Finance Africa should therefore be our next step', he said.

Mr Pravind Jugnauth also called for a concerted effort from the public and private sectors to ensure the sustainability of the manufacturing processes and coordinate the various strategies of the production process across the Continent to be able to come up with products that are intrinsically made in Africa. He praised the vital role of the private sector in promoting investment and economic prosperity.

He urged Governments to provide the business community with the necessary tools to carry out their operations in a predictable, transparent and fair manner. This will motivate the private sector in taking measures of responsibility for growing a prosperous, empowered and equitable society built on good governance, transparency and accountability.

According to the Prime Minister poverty neither has a Face nor a Place in Africa as the continent embarks upon people empowerment. He solicited the support of both the public and private sectors in this endeavor , recalling that the youth, the women who have always acted as pillars of our homes and societies need to be given prominence in our development plans for Africa and should not be left behind.

He was grateful to the African Union for unanimously adopting a resolution at the 28th African Union summit in January 2017, to express its solidarity with Mauritius for not being able to exercise its full sovereignty over its territory as the Chagos Archipelago. Mr Jugnauth expressed the interest of Mauritius to host regional and international institutions that will help advance our continent, given that Mauritius is a country built on strong institutions.

During the two-day AEP which brings together African leaders, captains of the business industry, the private sector, academia and intellectuals, various topics will be discussed. They include boost to intra-Africa trade; the need for more flexible Rules of Origin; the removal of non-tariff barriers; and measures to grow the manufacturing sector.