President William Ruto has called for speedy implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
AfCFTA, he added, will increase intra-Africa trade thereby creating jobs and wealth for the people.
The Head of State noted that Visa restrictions between African countries and tariffs are unnecessary hindrances to trade.
“It is time we realise the importance of trading amongst ourselves and allowing goods, services, people and ideas to move freely across the continent,” he said.
He observed that trade among East African Community countries had grown significantly due to the elimination of visa requirements and tariffs.
He made the remarks during the Summit of the Three Basins on Biodiversity Ecosystems, and Tropical Forests, in Brazzaville, the Republic of Congolese.
Present were Presidents Sassou Nguesso (Congo), Felix Tshekedi (DRC), Evariste Ndayishimiye (Burundi) and Brice Nguema (Gabon). Others were African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki, Vice-President Jessica Alupo of Uganda and Prime Minister of Rwanda Edourdo Ngirente, among other heads of government and delegations.
President Ruto called for reforms in the international financial architecture that he said was unjust to African countries.
“A fair financial architecture that treats Africa like other countries is not too much to ask,” he said.
President Ruto, who is also the chair of the Committee of the African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change, called for fair allocation of climate action financing.
He explained that it was counterproductive for Africa, which holds the most renewable energy resources, to receive the lowest funding.
“Despite having 40% of the world’s renewable energy resources, Africa as a continent can only manage to receive only 2% of the $ 3 trillion renewable energy investment made over the past decade,” he said.
He observed that acknowledging and providing incentives to countries in tropical forest basins for forest protection was a smart climate action.
The President warned against exporting raw minerals out of the continent saying the move amounts to exporting jobs meant for Africans. Instead, African countries should embrace value addition.