The United Nations has instituted a board to bring out modalities for African countries that are yet to be part of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

The members of the board which will be dispatched to various countries are expected to engage Finance and Trade Ministers of countries including, Nigeria and South Africa who are yet to sign on to the deal.

The Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Dr Vera Songwe disclosed this in Accra.

Dr Songwe was speaking on the different perspective of transformation at the national, continental and Regional levels including the critical role of global partnerships and the private sector.

She said, “All the big economies will realise that if they don't come on board, they will not be able to make it because we're in an era of technology where we can move goods without moving people.”

Dr Songwe said, “Our mission over the next six months is to get 22 countries to ratify. We're sending a team to all the countries, any member country that needs support will be given. Our analysis shows that we will have a 53 per cent increase in intra-trade if the deal is ratified.”

“What that means is that we will be producing more to trade among ourselves. Once that is done then I think the people will have the benefit,” she added.

Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is the only UN agency mandated to operate at the regional and subregional levels to harness resources and bring them to bear on Africa's priorities.

To enhance its impact, ECA places a special focus on collecting up to date and original regional statistics in order to ground its policy research and advocacy on clear objective evidence; promoting policy consensus; providing meaningful capacity development; and providing advisory services in key thematic fields. 

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