Egypt invested around $1.2 billion in Africa during 2018, to hit a total investment in the continent of $10.2 billion, according to Minister of Planning Hala el-Saeed.
Saeed stressed that the cooperation between African countries will maximize integrated benefits from all available resources and possibilities inside the continent through encouraging infrastructure projects to boost intra-trade and mutual investment.
“Investing in Africa will benefit all parties and investors as a return of investment ranging between 30 to 40 percent in the communication sector, exceeding 40 percent in generating electricity and 80 percent in roads,” she stated.
She added that achieving objectives of sustainable development on the international level within the continent will provide trade opportunities worth $12 trillion, especially in fields of agriculture, food, health, building cities, generating energy and extracting minerals; that is in addition to creating 380 million job opportunities by 2030.
According to Saeed, the importance of the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) agreement comes from being the biggest trade bloc in terms of the number of countries involved since the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO), targeting liberalization of commodities and goods movement within the continent.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) agreement aims to ease the trade exchange between the countries that signed it according to a scheduled timeline and not through an immediate activation of the agreement.
The CFTA is considered to be the biggest deal ever signed since the World Trade Organization (WTO) was established as it was signed by 43 countries.
“The United Nations thought that free trade zone will increase intra-trade in Africa to 52 percent by 2022 and pave the road to establish a customs union after four years and an economic group by 2028,” she said, adding that Egypt has already signed this agreement in Kigali.
She also referred that Africa has 21 sovereign funds with assets worth $165 billion, emphasizing the role of these funds in supporting economic development locally and regionally.