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Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) Press Release April 10-11, 2016

27 April 2016
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The Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI)

Executive Council Meets in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


 April 12, 2016 – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - The Executive Council of the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) held its 9th Executive Council Meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 10-11 April 2016.   

PACCI represents business communities, Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and other business support organizations in Africa. Membres of the Executive Council include: Chambre Algérienne de Commerce et d'Industrie, Fédération des Chambres de Commerce et d'Industrie et de Services du Maroc– Khémisset, Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie Inde-Congo (C.C.I/I.C), Chambre de Commerce, d'Industrie, d'Agriculture et des Metiers de Brazzaville, Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (ECCSA), Chambre Fédérale de Commerce et d'Industrie de Burundi (CFCIB), Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture, Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce. The Council is currently chaired by Dr. Appiagyei Dankawoso of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, for the term 2014-2016.

The 2016 executive council discussed PACCI’s activities and finances for the year 2015 and reviewed progress and priorities for the next five years (2016-2020). Council members stressed the need to promote aggressive information campaign in support of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) in Africa. It directed the Executive Director of PACCI to foster closer cooperation between the African Union Commission and PACCI in order to coordinate private sector’s perspective on the role of the CFTA integration process and in overcoming obstacles to intra-regional trade. The Council also recommended the PACCI Secretariat to develop closer coordination with regional economic communities and the private sector representatives in the sub regions. The First Vice President of PACCI and the President of Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (ECCSA), Mr. Solomon Afework noted during the meeting that the private sector is a key partner in making the Free Trade Area a success and that its involvement in the entire process is critical and essential.     

The Council further made a number of recommendations, such as:

  • Improving coordination and the sharing of information between African Chambers of commerce to help drive long-term growth and development;
  • Building partnerships between African national chambers of commerce and regional development organizations in order to promote trade and investment to realize the continent’s maximum long-term economic potential;
  • Building fruitful relationships with regional economic communities such as ECA, ECOWAS, SADC to promote economic growth, and job creation;
  • Developing and strengthening PACCI to become an effective voice of business for enhanced continental cooperation and integration

Assessing the latest economic trends and challenges, PACCI Executive Director, Mr. Kebour Ghenna, said that growth according to the World Bank in Sub-Saharan Africa declined to 3% in 2015 from 4.5% in 2014, due to low commodity prices, weak global growth, rising borrowing costs, and adverse domestic developments in many countries.  The slowdown, according to the World Bank, was especially sharp in the region’s largest commodity exporters  But there were some bright spots, such as Côte d’Ivoire, which continued to experience robust, broad-based growth, supported by rising investment, and Kenya and Rwanda, where growth remained strong, helped by infrastructure spending, strong consumer demand, and a growing service sector.  He said that African businesses need a confidence boost and that government should act to minimize uncertainty and boost opportunity. 

Finally the Meeting thanked the Trade and Industry Division and the Economic Affairs Division of the African Union for their precious support to strengthen the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI).   

For more information or to speak to an expert from PACCI about this matter please contact Mr. Leul Wondemeneh, Program Manager at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Sierra Leone signs The Afican Continental Free Trade Agreement

    Sierra Leone signs The Afican Continental Free Trade Agreement

    Sierra Leone has become the latest country to subscribe to the trade treaty seeking a unified African market. President Julius Maada Bio appended his signature to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott on Monday, State House in Freetown disclosed. President Bio, in office for just four months, was making his maiden appearance at the 31st Ordinary Session of the African Union General Assembly.

    The theme was: ‘Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation.’

    President Bio is the head of the AU’s Committee of Ten on the Reform of the United Nations Security Council, a position he inherited from his predecessor Ernest Bai Koroma.

    Free movement

    He is also chairman of the AU Peace and Security Council, under which he chaired several sideline meetings. AfCFTA promises to break the cross-border trade barriers to ensure productive economic activities among member countries. It specifically aims to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business people and investments, and thus paving the way for accelerating the establishment of a continental customs union.

    The deal initially requires members to remove tariffs from 90 per cent of goods to allow free access to commodities and services across the continent.  AfCFTA's overall goal is to bring together the 54 African countries with a combined population of more than one billion people and a gross domestic product of more than $3.4 trillion, the AU says.

    If successfully implemented, analysts say, it could increase the economic diversification and intracontinental trade significantly. And a study attributed to the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) notably says that AfCFTA could lead to a 52 per cent increase above the baseline in intra-African trade flows by 2022.

    The agreement, which was first unveiled at an extraordinary summit of the AU Heads of State and Government in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, earlier in March, will create what has been described as potentially the largest free-trade area in terms of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organisation.

    New government

    Sierra Leone was in the middle of its elections at the time which ushered in a new government.

    Freetown State House said Monday in a statement that President Bio’s ascension to the agreement signifies his commitment to his “ambitious agenda” to ensure that it has access to the rest of the continent’s market and use trade and investment to revitalise its economy.

    The agreement had been signed by 44 member countries in Kigali.

    Kenya, Ghana and Rwanda were first to sign and ratify the agreement.

    It requires 22 ratifications by members for the treaty to come into effect.

    ( article By KEMO CHAM Nation Media Group )
  • AfCFTA  WORKSHOP SERIES- Nairobi Edition October 23rd - 24th, 2018

    AfCFTA WORKSHOP SERIES- Nairobi Edition October 23rd - 24th, 2018


    First Edition - The Weston Hotel, Nairobi - Kenya!

    October 23 - 24, 2018, 


    The Workshop is Happening Now!




    For exporters, importers and cross-border investors to learn how the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and other trade changes will impact your business this year and beyond.  


    We’re speaking with leaders who are on top of all the changes and innovations made to the most important trade agreement in Africa. We’ll be offering up a mix of information on tax reform, AfCFTA, trade/tariffs and more.

    This special AfCFTA workshop series, in collaboration with the experts at AU Commission, will be held in various cities over the coming months, with the kick-off in Nairobi October 23 - 24, 2018. For each discussion, members may tune-in from anywhere.



    1. Keynotes on the AfCFTA and its implementation

    2. The business framework and the outlook for AfCFTA and its implications on African countries [Presentation]

    3. Challenges and opportunities: a practical approach [Panel Discussion]

    4. The deepening of East African integration, and Kenya as key player in regional supply chains [Presentation]

    5. The most prominent concerns of the AfCFTA implementation, immigration and border security [Presentation]

    6. Importance of the AfCFTA to Ethiopia, Ghana, DRC, Mozambique, Morocco [Panel Discussion]

    7. AfCFTA and Getting Globalization Right: Poverty, Inequality, and Trade [Presentation]

    8. Rules of origin, arbitration, and the effect of exchange rates on the utilization of AfCFTA; [Presentation]

    9. Market Panel: Tanzania, Congo, Togo, Uganda [Panel Discussion]



    Join PACCI for this important event in-person or virtually. 

    Goal: Learn from practitioners and experts who are up-to-date on all the information exporters and importers need to know about AfCFTA.


    Who Should Attend: Executives at exporters, importers and investors – CEOs, COOs, CFOs, EVPs, business, sales, marketing.

     – – – – – – – 

    In-person location: African Union Headquarter - Addis Ababa



    AfCFTA is a new trade agreement between African countries.

    It makes it easier to export goods and services, benefitting people and businesses in Africa.

    On 21 March 2018 African heads of state and government officials met in Kigali, Rwanda, to sign the framework to establish this initiative of the African Union.

    National parliaments in African countries will then need to approve AfCFTA before it can take full effect.

    It will only enter into force fully and definitively, however, when (twenty-two) 22 AU Member
    States have ratified the Agreement.

    The deal will bring benefits for people and businesses across Africa. It will help to generate growth and jobs by:

    • Boosting exports;
    • Lowering the cost of the inputs businesses need to make their products;
    • Offering greater choice for consumers, and
    • Upholding African standards for products.



    AfCFTA offers new opportunities for African businesses of all sizes to export across the continent. Following ratification AfCFTA removes duties on 90% of products (tariff lines) that the African countries trade with other African countries.

    The agreement will especially benefit smaller companies who can least afford the cost of the red tape involved in exporting to other African countries. Small businesses will save time and money, for example, by avoiding duplicative product testing requirements, lengthy customs procedures and costly legal fees. Member States' authorities dealing with export promotion and chambers of commerce stand ready to help businesses to start exporting in Africa, boost existing trade, and attract investment.

    The agreement also offers better legal certainty in the service economy, greater mobility for company employees, and a framework to enable the mutual recognition of professional qualifications, from architects to crane operators.



    AfCFTA will be fully implemented once 22 Member States ratify the deal according to their respective constitutional requirements. At the time AfCFTA will take full effect, a new Dispute Resolution System will be put in place.



    • Helping to generate growth and jobs
    • Creating a level playing field for African companies, big and small
    • Lowering prices and widening choice for Africa's consumers
    • Cutting customs duties for exporters and importers
    • Cutting other costs for African businesses
    • Making it easier for African firms to sell services across Africa
    • Helping Africa’s rural communities market distinctive food and drinks
    • Protecting Africa's innovators and artists
    • Recognizing each other's professional qualifications
    • Protecting people's rights at work, and the environment.


    The Workshop is Happening Now!





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The Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry was established in 2009 by 35 founding national business chambers to influence government policy and create a better operating environment for business.

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