Member of the Pan African Parliament (PAP), Hon. McHenry Venaani, voiced concerns on Tuesday regarding the lack of understanding among ordinary Africans regarding the meaning and objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

Venaani expressed his observation during a session at the PAP, where discussions were held on the progress and challenges of implementing the AfCFTA. He highlighted the need for greater awareness and education among the general public about the agreement’s purpose and potential benefits.

The AfCFTA, which came into effect on January 1, 2021, aims to create a single market for goods and services across Africa, with the goal of promoting economic integration, boosting intra-African trade, and driving economic growth on the continent. However, Venaani emphasized that many ordinary Africans are unaware of the agreement and its potential impact on their lives.

According to Venaani, the lack of understanding stems from a lack of effective communication and awareness campaigns targeting the general population. He emphasized the importance of engaging with local communities, civil society organizations, and grassroots movements to ensure that they are well informed about the AfCFTA and its implications.

Venaani further stressed that empowering African citizens with knowledge about the AfCFTA is crucial for their active participation and to ensure that the agreement’s benefits are realized at all levels of society. He called for comprehensive educational campaigns that break down complex trade concepts into easily understandable terms and highlight the tangible benefits that the agreement can bring to ordinary Africans.

The member of the Pan African Parliament also urged governments and regional bodies to prioritize public education and awareness programs to bridge the information gap. He emphasized the need for clear and transparent communication channels, including local language materials and interactive platforms, to ensure the effective dissemination of information about the AfCFTA.

As the implementation of the AfCFTA progresses, Venaani’s remarks serve as a reminder that the success of the agreement lies not only in policy decisions and trade negotiations but also in ensuring that ordinary Africans are well-informed and actively engaged in shaping the future of continental trade.

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