Sao Tome: African free trade agreement is ‘double challenge’ – government

Sao Tome and Principe’s government considered the African Free Trade Agreement a double challenge, calling for an increase in domestic productivity to live up to the obligations of such an agreement.

“Sao Tome and Principe finds here (in the agreement) an opportunity not only to receive products from other countries but above all, to place its products in other territories. And this will require, from the point of view of agriculture and other sectors, greater productivity on our part, the minister for foreign affairs, cooperation and communities explained in statements to journalists.

Edite Tenjua, who participated in the signing of the document on behalf of the San Tome state, also explained that the free trade agreement in Africa came into force this month.

According to her, this agreement also poses a great challenge to all the countries that are part of this region and particularly Sao Tome, concerning the issue of mobility itself and the air and maritime links between the states that have signed the document.

With particular reference to her country, Edite Tenjua explained that, as an island state, Sao Tome and Principe has limitations from the point of view of air and maritime connections.

“These are issues that in time we will have to consider, since Sao Tome and Principe will not be an observer of this agreement, but a very active party and hopes to take great advantage of it,” she said.

Analysing the other aspects of the agreement, the minister raised the question of security, which is mainly a result of the entry into the national territory of each state.

She said, however, that the solution should be found by controlling who enters the country.

Sao Tome and Principe cannot fail to accompany this advent of change and development because of this, she added.

In her opinion, the government should use existing means to ensure that airport and port control also cover who enters and who leaves.

In this regard, she said that there was still a lot of work to be done even if the agreement came into force this month.