The Africa World Trade Network (AWTN) has partnered with the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat to accelerate intra-regional trade and investment through exhibitions, meetings, and events.
The partnership seeks to mobilize private sector actors across Africa to drive the attainment of strategic objectives that underpin the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.
The partnership between AWTN and the AfCFTA Secretariat is meant to work towards three common objectives that support continental trade and investment promotions across Africa and promote the overall objectives of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement:
To co-organize and host forums that support continental trade and investment promotions in Africa and promote the overall objectives of the AfCFTA Agreement
To support the growth and development of Africa’s commercial community; and
To collaborate on matters of common interest, in the pursuance of enhancing intra-trade in the Continent
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Board Chair of AWTN, Otwasuom Osae Nyampong VI, said: “Intra-regional trade promises a real win for Africa, and the AfCFTA Secretariat is at the forefront of this significant progress in the continent’s history; it is a second Pan-African victory after Independence. AWTN on its part has recognized this watershed moment and will act as a catalyst to boost trade relations among member states and businesses across the continent.”
Otwasuom Osae Nyampong VI emphasized: “Like the AfCFTA Secretariat, AWTN is headquartered in Accra, which has been recognized as a beacon for transformative development in the sub-region. In this partnership, AWTN commits to initiate and escalate innovative programs to mobilize investment opportunities that will enhance sustainable trade across Africa as envisioned by the AfCFTA.”
On his part, His Excellency Wamkele Mene – Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, reiterated his commitment to ensuring that the AfCFTA is effectively implemented such that there is shared and inclusive economic growth.
He underscored “after many years of talks and negotiations, we are now focussed on rolling out the AfCFTA across the continent”, and identified young Africans and women in the trade as segments of society that must benefit from the implementation of the Agreement. Secretary-General Mene further noted, “it is Africa’s time, and through the AfCFTA we have a unique opportunity to turn a new page on Africa’s economic development and growth trajectory”.
His Excellency Wamkele Mene further articulated the need to enhance the platforms of engagement between the public and private sectors. He highlighted “It is for this reason that partnerships such as this between the private sector, government, and developmental institutions are needed to help collaborate and find solutions to our daily challenges.”
About the AfCFTA and the Secretariat
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat is the sole supranational organization in the continent, legally established and mandated to handle the rules of trade between African countries. At the core is the implementation of the Agreement Establishing the AfCFTA, negotiated, signed, and ratified by the State Parties.
The AfCFTA operates a continental system of trade rules, it acts as a platform for negotiating trade protocols, facilitates the settlement of disputes between State Parties and it monitors the implementation of the AfCFTA Agreement.
The Agreement Establishing the AfCFTA was signed at the 10th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Kigali – Rwanda in March 2018. With 55 countries, the AfCFTA will be the largest Free Trade Area (FTA) in the world in terms of membership, covering a market of 1.3 billion people with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$3.4 trillion (2020).
The AfCFTA Agreement entered into force on 30 May 2019 – 30 days after the deposit of the twenty-second (22nd) instrument of ratification with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission – the designated Depositary for this purpose.
To date, fifty-four (54) out of fifty-five (55) countries have signed the Agreement Establishing the AfCFTA and thirty-seven (37) countries are State Parties by virtue of the deposit of their instruments of ratification of the Agreement.
Trading under the AfCFTA commenced on 1 January 2021 in line with the decisions of the 13th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union that was held virtually in December 2020.
Source: Ghana Web