The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat has revealed plans of establishing agricultural value chains in the various member states to boost agro-processing on the continent.
Making the disclosure in a virtual press briefing on Tuesday, Secretary General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, Wamkele Mene, noted that continent-wide agreement, which seeks to bridge all gaps in the various sectors among African countries, seeks to strengthen the agriculture sector which has a huge social and economic footprint on the continent.
“The Secretariat wants to make sure that through this agreement we establish agricultural value chains that will transcend across the African continent. And we know that this has worked in other parts of the continent. For example, in East Africa, there are agricultural value chains across the East African Community on dairy products and sugar.”
“So, we want to replicate the success of some regions in rolling out agricultural value chains across the African continent. Agro-processing is a big contributor to Africa’s industrialization strategy. And so we are looking at it holistically from an industrial development point of view and from the food security point of view,” stated Mr Mene.
The agriculture sector which generates around $100 billion or 15 percent of the continent’s GDP annually, is a major economic sector for Africa.
Despite its varying contribution to GDP from one African country to another, ranging from just over 2 percent in South Africa to 35 percent in Mali, agriculture remains a critical sector for the continent in terms of employment, food security and exports.