AfCFTA agenda needs Chinese infrastructure investment to succeed: Ghanaian expert

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General view of conference room of the 35th Ordinary Session of the Executive Committee of the Meeting of the African Union at the Palais des Congres in Niamey, on July 5, 2019. - The launch of an African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will be the focus of the two-day summit in the capital Niamey. (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
General view of conference room of the 35th Ordinary Session of the Executive Committee of the Meeting of the African Union at the Palais des Congres in Niamey, on July 5, 2019. (Photo credit ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)

For the vision of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to succeed, there is the need for support from China to build the needed infrastructure for trade within the continent, according to a Ghanaian expert.

Said Boakye, a senior research fellow at the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), a leading economic policy think tank in Ghana, said China would also benefit in the long term from an expanded African economy with a more comprehensive trading relation with China.

“We need to improve infrastructure to support the implementation of the AfCFTA, but capital to do so is not readily available,” Boakye observed.

Boakye lauded the idea of a continental free trade area because it will create a win-win for manufacturers and consumers.

“In the long run if trading helps African countries to grow so fast, it could even boost trade from China, because now African economies will be big enough to not only buy from within Africa,” he said.

Increased intra-African trade will help to expand the African economy, which would also help to promote trade with countries like China, said the expert.

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