Chris BishopBy Chris Bishop|December 10, 2020|3 Minutes|In AfCFTA


Dynamic Young African Could Prove Boost For AfCFTA

On the cusp of the new African Free Trade Area that promises to transform the way business is done across the continent the effort could get a boost from a new young dynamic, leader emerging in the race for leadership at the African Union.

Monique Nsanzabaganwa – make a note of that name, in 2021. According to insiders in the African Union, the Rwandan could be destined for high office in the organisation. This could prove a boost for the fledgling trading block poised to open up business from Cape Town to Casablanca.

On New Year’s Eve – as the United Kingdom crashes out of the European Union – Africa will be getting together and bringing down tariffs in a move that promises more investment and employment.

An important piece in this jigsaw could be Nsanzabaganwa, a 49-year-old trade economist and monetary policy maker, who served as the deputy governor of the National Bank of Rwanda since 2011.

Nsanzabaganwa is the daughter of teachers and grew up in Byimana in central Rwanda. President Paul Kagame appointed her as minister of state in charge of economic planning when she was 32 years old.

Insiders say Nsanzabaganwa is emerging as a front runner for deputy to chairman Moussa Faki – who is running unopposed for a second term – at the African Union commission. Rwanda has backed her for the job and the word is she is enthusiastic about the new AfCFTA.

This could be good news for the AfCTA, according to its Secretary General Wamkele Mene.

“Whomever gets the position I will be knocking on their doors as early as March to ask for cooperation. The deputy chairperson is responsible for financial management of the African Union and the budget. So, I very much will be looking for administrative support on a very high level, it is a very Important position and so I am hopeful the best candidate will be elected and espouse the African Free Trade Area,” he says.

“We get a bigger budget, hopefully, and also processes will be streamlined…It is one of the most advanced flagship projects at the African Union and it is one that the heads of state have devoted the most political capital into its realisation.”

Nsanzabaganwa could be the fit that helps the development of the AfCFTA as it faces a difficult birth in 2021.