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AfDB critical partner in economic growth

AS AFRICA aspires to accelerate intra-trade to boost economic growth, strategic partners such as the African Development Bank (AfDB) will remain critical in achieving the agenda, trade expert Darlington Mwape says.
Mr Mwape, who is senior fellow at Geneva-based International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, observed that Africa will continue to look to AfDB for finance, which will help the continent improve its transport connectivity to accelerate trade.
“The projects financed by the bank speak volumes especially in trade facilitation and AfDB will remain a key partner in boosting intra- Africa trade,” he said in an interview last week.
In Zambia alone, the bank has financed several infrastructure projects aimed at connecting Zambia with others in the region. The projects include the Kazungula Bridge, Chinsali- Nakonde road and the Nacala Corridor.
He said boosting intra-trade will accelerate continental growth.
Meanwhile, Mr Mwape says the full ratification of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, which aims at boosting trade by expediting the movement and clearance of goods across the border, will assist in accelerating intra trade.
In December 2013, World Trade Organisations (WTO) members concluded negotiations on a Trade Facilitation Agreement at the Bali Ministerial Conference.
So far, a number of countries, including Zambia, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United States, Mauritius, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, Botswana, Trinidad and Tobago, the Republic of Korea, Nicaragua, Niger, Belize and Switzerland, have ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement.
Mr Mwape said the initiative will help eliminate red tape which has for a long time hindered trade.