Mozambique’s deputy minister of Industry and Commerce says that tariff liberalisation and other commitments that will be made within the scope of the AfCFTA must align with national development priorities and the policies and strategies in force in the country.
Policy changes are needed to facilitate the faster and seamless flow of goods and services across borders.
Current realities are likely to counter the expectations that the AfCFTA is some kind of silver bullet that will transform Africa, sweeping away decades of embedded dysfunction and challenges.
The government of Tanzania will ratify the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) between June and October this year.
The AfCFTA Secretariat has established a dispute settlement body, that will function as a full-court with the right mechanisms and structures in place to settle trade disputes.
This includes the protocols on rules of origin which seeks to deal with the issue of third party exports into the free zone area.
The political survival of ruling elites is one of the major determining factors behind their trade policy choices.
The inaugural meeting of the dispute settlement body of the AfCFTA signals the readiness of this infrastructure to take up any disputes that may arise in the course of trading amongst the member States.
DAIRIBORD Holdings Limited has said although the African Continental Free Trade Area could unlock a string of spinoffs, significant threats to intra-African trade would also arise.
Business Botswana (BB) is concerned that the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement, will not be fully exploited by local businesses.
AfCFTA provides a platform for Mauritius to contribute significantly to the new African impetus by making available to investors and businessmen an ecosystem that not only makes it easier for them to do business with Africa, but also enhances and safeguards their investments.
The European Union has pledged to commit an additional €5m (about sh21.7b) towards the second phase of the African Trade Observatory (ATO) to support the operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Some outstanding negotiations are part of necessary conditions to ensure the success of the AfCFTA, but have been facing challenges from member countries despite commencement of the agreement.
The Ghanaian Minister of Trade and Industry has called for the establishment of a Ghana-Canada Business Council, to promote trade between the two countries.
The international legal instrument to be adopted as the AfCFTA Protocol on Investment will constitute a binding international agreement for the AU Member States that have ratified this instrument and for whom it has entered into force.
The legal regimes of the eight Regional Economic Communities (RECs) recognised by the AfCFTA Agreement as building blocks of the African Continental Free Trade Area will not disappear when the AfCFTA is implemented.
The fears that Nigeria might become a dumping ground for manufactured goods, especially with the advent of the AfCFTA, has heightened as Nigeria’s Trade in Goods Statistics show rising deficit in manufactured goods trade.
AfCFTA has materialized at a time when globalization is being used to hide all sorts of ambitions including the second empire and colonialism. AfCFTA is not just about the economy and markets, it is also a political setup from the African Union and African Development Bank.
The African Trade Policy Centre is preparing the first ever Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the AfCFTA to guide on how environmental considerations can be effectively incorporated into the agreement.
The AfCFTA will give the African Union the chance to become a strong, independent player in the world economy – at least that is the optimistic forecast. But there are good reasons to cast doubt on the high hopes pinned on the African free trade area.