Business Unity South Africa president Sipho Pityana has congratulated Wamkele Mene on his election as first Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“We are confident that Mr. Mene has what it takes to ensure rapid implementation of the AfCFTA, and to maximise the opportunities it presents,” says Pityana. “This is a significant appointment for South Africa and the continent, and it is particularly notable that it takes place during the same African Union session at which President Cyril Ramaphosa took over chairmanship of the AU.”
Mr. Mene – who was South Africa’s chief negotiator in the African Continental Free Trade Area and is a former diplomat at the World Trade Organisation – will be inaugurated along with other members of the AfCFTA Secretariat in March, ahead of the 1 July target date for the free trade agreement to kick in.
“Organised business knows Mr Mene well and we are sure he will be able to ensure the seamless implementation of AfCFTA,” says Pityana.
“The free trade agreement presents huge opportunities to fight under-development and poverty, while advancing peace and prosperity on the continent,” says Pityana, who is also co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s prestigious new Africa Regional Stewardship Board.
“We urge the private sector across the continent to align itself and play a coordinated role in operationalising the AfCFTA, so that we continue to uplift the continent and its people.”
Sipho Mila Pityana (President)