CSOs in Accra for AfCFTA conference
A three-day consultative seminar on the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) among civil society organisations (CSOs) from across Africa is underway in Accra.
The seminar, sponsored by the Africa Trade Network, aims to share perspectives on AfCFTA, exchange detailed information on the processes, and form an agenda for future interactions among CSOs regarding the trade pact and broader trade development advocacy in Africa.
The Head of Programmes, Third World Network (TWN), Tetteh Hormeku-Ajei, told the Daily Graphic that the seminar would address the challenges involved in the implementation of the continental free trade agreement and provide solutions.
He noted that implementation of the AfCFTA since its adoption had not been straightforward, with some of the protocols still inconclusive.
The seminar will offer participants the opportunity to share their analysis and information on AfCFTA issues and processes.
They will also engage with representatives of the range of policy making institutions involved with the AfCFTA.
Topics slated for discussion include Africa in the context of global economic and political challenges, broad overview of Africa’s economic structure and its dynamics, interrogating the thematic issues confronting Africa today, domestic resources mobilisation, taxation and financial flows in Africa.
Panel discussions and presentations will be employed to deal with the issues, with some personalities such as Everlyn Muendo of Tax Justice Network-Africa, Fambai Ngirande of the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development, and Dr Yao Graham of the TWN participating.
The Africa Trade Network has indicated that the implementation of the concluded protocols on Trade in Goods and on Trade in Services under the AfCFTA have been challenged by the need to create rules to operationalise those protocols.
Final agreement on Trade in Goods remains to be reached in areas such as rules of origin and final tariff schedules.
AfCFTA is a free trade area consisting of most African countries.
It came into effect in 2018 by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which has 43 parties and 11 signatories, making it the largest free-trade area by number of member states after the World Trade Organisation, covering a population of 1.3 billion people across the world's second largest continent.
The AfCFTA is anticipated to progressively eliminate tariffs, as well as other non-tariff constraints on intra-African trade, making it easier for businesses in Ghana, for example, to trade within the continent and explore opportunities.