BUJUMBURA May 26th (ABP) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation closed, on Wednesday May 24, 2023, the ceremonies of the open days for 2023 edition, which had the theme “Economic diplomacy at the service of development at the era of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ZLECAF) “.
In his closing remarks, Foreign Minister Albert Shingiro indicated that 30 million of the African population will be lifted out of poverty thanks to the African Continental Free Trade Area (ZLECAF), by increasing markets in the 54 members of the European Union.
He also announced that the ZLECAF is a great intra-African project which, he explained, will help the country to stimulate and expand economic growth. He highlighted the main pillars of the effective and sustained economic diplomacy project including foreign investment, trade promotion, technology transfer, infrastructure development, gradual industrialization in the country and promotion of tourism.
During the presentations led by various experts in the economic diplomacy sector, Mr. Bizimana Jean Damascène, Director of Programs and Monitoring at the Burundi Revenue Authority (OBR), did not fail to identify the advantages of ZLECAF, including short and long term commercial, economic and social benefits. According to him, ZLECAF also has strengths in various natural resources, agricultural mining, hydroelectric, hydraulic, to name but a few.
As weaknesses, Mr. Bizimana noted the inadequacy of transport infrastructure and logistics for the storage and conservation of exportable products.
Note that the ZLECAF was officially founded in 2018 and represents a market of 1.3 billion people and an economy worth 3.4 trillion US dollars.