MSU, UZ host key AfCFTA conference

28 Oct, 2021 - 00:10 0 Views
MSU, UZ host key AfCFTA conference

The Herald

Freedom Mupanedemo Midlands Bureau

Midlands State University (MSU) and the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) will co-host the first ever African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) conference as local universities begin to play an integral part in growing the economy as envisaged in the National Development Strategy (NDS1) under the Second Republic.

The Ministries of Industry and Commerce and of Foreign Affairs and International Trade are organising the event.

MSU senior lecturer and conference director Dr Godfrey Chikowore said the conference will run for three days starting today.

The platform, which will bring together captains of industry from across Africa, will see a few participants attending the conference physically while most will follow proceedings virtually due to Covid-19 restrictions.

“It’s a first, where as Africans, we will introspect and proffer discussions and solutions on how Africa can fully benefit and take part in free trade areas where only developed continents have been dominating despite the fact that as Africa, we have the biggest population of over one billion people.

“The thrust is to open synergies to grow our economies as Africa in line with the country’s Vision 2030 and the broader Agenda 2063.

“So this is a first AfCFTA conference we are embarking on, which will put us on the spotlight as we also seek equal opportunities and become competent as Africa with the idea of industrialising our rural communities which is in line with the NDS1,” he said.

Participants in the inaugural conference include the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the World Bank, Pan African Business Women Association, United Nations Development Programme, Galelio Holdings, University of Johannesburg and University of Warsaw, among others.

Other areas to be covered during the conference include climate change and mitigation technologies.

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