ECA-ITC End AfCFTA Validation Workshop In Adbijan

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The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC), in collaboration with the Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), has concluded a workshop on the validation of the National Strategy of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).


The forum, organized for Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), took place from    December 4-5, in Abidjan.


 In addition to the validation of the National Strategy the workshop also sought to set up the guidance mechanism of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for the country.


 The workshop was part of a technical assistance project aimed at deepening trade integration through effective AfCFTA implementation, led by ECA, in collaboration with AUC and ITC among others, and financially supported by the European Union.


This meeting was held in a context where last July, African countries launched the first operational phase of the AfCFTA, with the aim of serving as a framework for discussions and validation of the National Strategy for the implementation of the Agreement in Côte d'Ivoire.


The strategy, based on a participatory and inclusive process that allows the collection of both quantitative and qualitative data, has as its main purpose, the definition of a framework for the application of the measures contained in the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA), with the aim of liberalising the national market, which will then be inserted harmoniously in an integration framework at the continental scale.


An ECA dispatch says the implementation of the AfCFTA will significantly increase the country’s exports to sub-regions across Africa. According to the dispatch, the industrial sector is expected to reap the most benefits from this trade expansion that could rise to 8.5%, making the Agreement an opportunity for industrialisation and for the promotion of a tool for the structural transformation of the economy.  


The dispatch said the terms of the expected impacts of the AfCFTA for the country, the effective implementation of the Agreement should support the achievement of the following strategic objectives.


They objectives include rationalising the institutional and regulatory system for the promotion of production and trade; strengthening the reference framework for policies promoting national competitiveness; reducing transaction costs associated with trade and facilitating trade; and improving the business environment.


Others include developing aggressive commercial strategies; undertaking the firm commitment to upgrade producers and products; promoting the participation of women and the informal sector in cross-border trade.


This validation workshop, lasting for two days saw the participation of members of the AfCFTA National Committee (AfCFTA-NC) and other private and public stakeholders in Côte d'Ivoire and experts from the ECA, ITC and AUC.


Jacob N.B. Parley

Communications Director

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