Pan African Parliament president Bethel Amadi has urged the body to ensure Africa is integrated economically.
Trade and Law Centre website quoted Amadi on Sunday as saying that African economic integration will have a spiral effect on economies of the 54 countries on the continent, including Malawi.
â€œOnce we make available a blueprint of the proposed economic integration of the continent to the assembly of heads of States and approval is given, we will set the ball rolling to better the lot of Africans.
â€œOnce there is a legal framework in this direction, the issue of unnecessary and heavy taxation will be a thing of the past. The continental body will ensure that such continental laws must be domesticated by member states of African Union and erring states will be adequately sanctioned,â€ said Amadi.
There is a general agreement that action needs to be taken to increase the current levels of intra- African trade for the continent to create more jobs, to be less dependent on international shocks and to develop larger markets.
Currently, the level of intra-African trade is at around 10 percent and by comparison, intra-North American trade is about 48 percent; intra-Europe is about 72 percent; intra-Asia is about 52 percent and intra-Latin America is about 26 percent.
African countries maintain high tariff barriers to trade within the continent (nine percent as opposed to around three percent for other continents).
At the 18th ordinary session held in January 2012, African heads of State adopted an action plan for boosting intra-African trade and agreed to establish a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) by 2017.
Ministry of Industry and Trade spokesperson Wiskes Nkombezi last week indicated that the CFTA would help address the bottlenecks that Malawi has with other African countries when it comes to trade.
â€œIf we want to export items to Cameroon, for instance, it will not be easy, but with the CFTA it will become easier. As a way of addressing such hurdles, African countries decided to establish the CFTA. Africa is the least integrated area because others such as Europe and Asia trade up to about 60 percent within themselves but Africa is at about 12 percent,â€ he said.
Nkombezi added that Malawi is also a member of the High Level African Trade Committee (HATC) by virtue of its chairmanship of Comesa.