AfCFTA has potential to change narrative of Africa’s economy, says MAN president

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By Rukayat Moisemhe

Lagos, Jan. 28, 2021 The President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mr Mansur Ahmed, says the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has the potential to build Africa’s capacity to manufacture and change the narrative of continent’s economy.

According to him, it is able to give Africa a stronger voice and positioning in the global economy as time goes on.

He spoke at the 2021 edition of the MAN Reporter of the year Award Ceremony in Lagos, where the association recognised the exceptional performance of some journalists in the coverage of its activities in 2020.

Ahmed said he was confident that there would be a tremendous opportunity for growth and development for each and everyone, if the countries that signed the agreement were willing to come together to make it a success.

He, however, expressed concern over the issue of dumping, which he said could be tackled by strong political will of the government.

“A possible challenge that stares us in the face is the issue of dumping.

“The dumping issue, frankly, is a matter of political will. Do our governments and political leaders have the political will to agree on those things that we have to do?

“For instance, to ensure that we do not allow dumping to take place, there is need to ensure that all countries operate based on the rule of origin that has been agreed.

“But the difference is that while some countries will ensure that these regulations are complied with, others unfortunately will not do so.

“This calls for effective monitoring mechanism to be put in place to ensure that all countries do the right thing,” he said.

Ahmed commended the Federal Government for reopening the land borders ahead of the take off of the AfCFTA on Jan. 1, 2021.

The MAN president, at the event, praised the efforts of the media at constantly championing the course of the manufacturing sector.

He reiterated MAN’s commitment to strengthening its relationship with the media, with the confidence of attaining more milestones through their resolute support in publicising the association’s activities and programmes.

“Indeed, year 2020 was quite challenging partly due to some perennial issues bedeviling the sector and others thrown up by COVID-19 pandemic and the hijacked EndSARS demonstration which placed immense pressure on the social and economic structures of the economy.

“As a Business Membership Organisation, we certainly hold the fourth estate of the realm in high esteem owing to the intrinsic role you play as the conscience of society.

“Our annual engagement has proved to be very useful as it has provided me the opportunity of not only appreciating you for a job well done, but also to share first hand, the pulse of the manufacturing sector as well as get feedback from you.

“The feedback received from the team of assessors of your entries is very encouraging, judging from the intellectual creativity deployed in presenting the views of the association through written and broadcast messages on your respective platforms.

“This says a lot about your level of commitment to the growth and development of the manufacturing sector and the economy in general.

“The ‘MAN Reporter of the Year Award’ has come to stay, as this is one of the many ways we can acknowledge your contribution to the Association, and of course, reward excellence,” he said.

The MAN President revealed plans of the association to celebrate its 50th anniversary later in the year.

“In due time, we will intimate you on the line of programmes as we count on your support in terms of wide coverage for a landmark celebration of this nature,” he said.

Naija247news reports that Mr Odinaka Anudu of Business Day won the award in the Newspaper category, Mr Olawale Amoo also of Business Day won in the photojournalist category, while Mrs Ebere Obike of Radio Nigeria emerged winner in the Radio category.

Mr Franklin Alli of Industrial Digest won in the online category, and Mr Abiola Ismail of MITV emerged winner in the Television category.

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