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    Monday, September 2, 2019

    South Africa Hostilities Endanger AfCFTA Treaty

    The African Continental Free Trade Area AfCFTA treaty one of the flagship projects of the Africa Union Agenda 2063 is aimed at creating a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of people, business and investment.

    How on earth someone can say Nigeria and Ghana as a member of the Economic Community of West African States over the years seeing Ghana attacking Nigerian businessmen and women in their country with the treaty signed in the region.

    For instance, Ghana wants to host the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area; yet the same country still being hostile to members of other African brothers’ businesses resulting to burning, looting goods and services freely.

    Dangote cement as a product is not allowed into some countries within Economic Community of West African States where we adopted free movement of people, goods and services.

    The activities of Nigerians businessmen and women are creating job opportunities for both skilled and unskilled artisans in that country both Ghana and South Africa.

    “The economic activities of Nigerians in that country are adding value to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). But unfortunately, both the media and the citizenry in that country hardly highlights these positive contributions by create jobs for their citizens.

    In South Africa with drumming of AFCFTA treaty, Nigerians business interests was reported to have lost more than nine shops worth of billions to arsonists in Hillbrow, central Johannesburg in 2018

    According to the Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, Mr Habib Miller, told the News Agency of Nigeria in 2018 on the telephone from Pretoria on Monday that South Africans allegedly committed the act.

    Miller said that the union had informed the Nigerian Mission in South Africa and was expecting their response to the development.

    As last year action was not enough in August 2019 exactly a year after, Nigerians living with business interests in South Africa are under attacked again which the Nigeria Union has advised Nigerian living part of the country to avoid Pretoria Central Business District until the Police Authority certify the area safe for foreign nationals. Tell me, how can Africa countries freely trade in various countries as per agreement?

    The Nigerian Union in South Africa gave the advice in the wake of xenophobic attacks early Wednesday morning in that country.

    “Violent looting and burning of foreign-owned businesses which was reported started in the early hours of Wednesday, August 28, at the Pretoria CBD.

    “Foreign-owned shops and offices were targeted by angry taxi driver rioters, the President of NUSA, Adetola Olubajo said in a statement.

    “The violent revolt and looting have been fuelled by the death of a taxi driver allegedly by Tanzania nationals on Tuesday at Pretoria CBD.

    “Not less than two buildings were burnt by the angry mob. This was done after the stocks in the various shops were looted by the rioters.

    “The situation was very volatile this morning September though with the joint efforts of South African Metro Police and South African Police Service members helped to curb the violent looting and attacks, although the situation is still tensed at the area as several roads were blocked for motorists.’’

    He said as at the time he sent the statement, only two Nigerian-owned businesses were identified to be affected, furniture/electronics shop on Sisulu Street and Gold Exchange Business on Lillan Ngoyi Street were looted and burnt.

    Nigerians are actually helping South Africa economy because economic activities provided to hundreds of their people help put food on the tables of these workers.

    Also Nigerians make money circulates in their economy and promotes its growth. So, Nigerians are wonder why they should go through such hostilities.

    The report has quoted Nigeria as Africa’s largest economy has signed into the treaty as the 54th country to come on board on Sunday July27, 2019.  According to the AfCFTA deal is expected to improve intra-African trade, enhance economic growth and sustainable development, and promote cooperation on investment, intellectual property rights and competition among other value chains.

    Clampdown on Nigerians owned businesses and the attack on traders looting by Ghana was “an unpleasant and poor reflection of the relationship between Ghana and Nigeria

    The free-trade area, according to Forbes, is the largest in the world with potential customers of 1.2 billion and combined estimated GDP of $2.5 trillion.

    With a GDP of $405 billion, and a population of about 200 million, Nigeria is considered the largest economy in Africa. It is followed by Egypt ($332 billion) and South Africa ($295 billion). Nigeria from the face of it is expected to have a comparative economic advantage.
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