The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) crossed the necessary threshold for continental implementation in May 2019. The speed at which the ratification happened can be interpreted as widespread political buy-in, in part, driven by analysis showing that lowering intra-African trade tariffs can produce significant long-term economic gains.
The report, ‘Conditions for Success in the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement,’ shows that initial implementation-level conditions for success are heavily dependent on the willingness of individual Member States and their leaders to take action to implement the agreement. The report was launched on the margins of the 33rd African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) and the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the Univeristy of Denver.
Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of AUDA-NEPAD stated that, “Member States will be making complex decisions in the implementation of the AfCFTA. Therefore the study by AUDA-NEPAD and the Pardee Center makes this task easier by providing both an analytical framework as well as an actual analysis on local and international factors likely to either augment or hinder implementation of the AfCFTA.”
African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry, H.E Albert Muchanga presented the status and progress being made in implementing the AfCFTA. The Commissoner announced that $2.5 billion has been raised for the five regions in Africa (Central, East, Northern, Southern and Western regions) with each one of them being allocated the amount of $500 million for the AfCFTA. Work is also underway for the setting up of the African Business Council, which when created, will align activities of private sector entities across the continent to promote linkages and synergies.
The purpose of the report, as echoed by Mr Martin Bwalay, AUDA-NEPAD’s Head of Industrialisation, is to provide countries with evidence-based insights and facts to help navigate the complexities that come with implementation. They include identifying and managing trade-offs and identifying and building trans-boundary market linkages.
The moderator of the report launch Amb. Stephen Olukorede Willoughby, Former acting CEO of the NEPAD Secretariat, exculted stakeholders to reflect on the conditions of report as it provides a uniquely African perspective and foresight analysis to help in evidence-based prioritisation and determining of national or regional AfCFTA implementation pathways.
The report outlines the conditions for success as follows:
Development in the context of transformation, which is already underway and that will unlock growth and integration
The promise of prosperity, of which continental gains are unevenly distributed in geography and time.
Risks and opportunities, for which effort is required to ensure shared prosperity and sustained support.
The report can be accessed here>>> https://bit.ly/3bJZS1Q