Africa Free-Trade Pact Could Counter Covid-19 Impact On Growth, UN Says



Monique Vanek | Bloomberg

A continent-wide free-trade pact could help boost economic growth and reduce inequality in Africa as the Covid-19 omicron variant threatens to weigh on output.

Commerce under the African Continental Free-Trade Area that started Jan. 1could reduce coronavirus-induced economic contractions and “spur sustainable and inclusive growth on the continent if stronger support measures targeting women, young traders and small businesses are implemented,” according to a United Nations report.

Such measures should include introducing affirmative action initiatives in public procurement for marginalized groups and prioritizing support for industries in which trade reforms would have the greatest potential for inclusiveness, the UN Conference on Trade and Development said.

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