ZIMBABWE Youth in Tourism patron, First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa, has called on African countries to synchronise their tourism, trade and investment policy frameworks to take full advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
In a speech read on her behalf by acting Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Nqobizitha Ndlovu at the Africa Youth in Tourism conference held in Bulawayo, Mnangagwa said: “There is need to synchronise African countries’ tourism, trade and investment policy frameworks to engineer enabling mechanism to take full advantage of the newly formed African continental free trade area.”
“This calls on Zimbabwe as a major actor in tourism to drive the south regional economic integration to make Africa an optimum destination for Africa. In the process, this will allow plenty of labour and unintended cross border trade of goods and services.”
To date, 27 countries, including Zimbabwe, have ratified AfCFTA meant to create strong economic integration on the continent by forming a single continental market.
It is also one of the largest free trade areas since the formation of the World Trade Organisation, given Africa’s current population of 1,2 billion people, which is expected to grow to 2,5 billion by 2050.