English Arabic French Portuguese Spanish

ECA urges Africa to push ahead with Continental Free Trade Area

05 December 2016
(0 votes)
Author :  

The Africa Trade Forum ended in Addis Ababa Wednesday with Economic Commission for Africa’s Coordinator, David Luke, of the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) urging participants to act on conclusions reached in discussions this week as the continent seeks to meet its October 2017 deadline for the implementation of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).


Mr. Luke, in various interventions and presentations over the week, including one on the CFTA and Structural Transformation, made a case for the need for Africa to move with speed to deal with outstanding issues standing in the way of the CFTA.

The CFTA, which is expected to be in place by October 2017, will bring together fifty-four African countries with a combined population of more than one billion people and a combined gross domestic product of more than US $3.4 trillion.

With the CFTA, African leaders aim, among other things, to create a single continental market for goods and services, free movement of business persons and investments and expand intra-African trade. The CFTA is also expected to enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise levels on the continent.

 “We have had great discussions over the past three days on a number of critical issues for African trade that will have implications and follow-up actions for all of us,” Mr. Luke said.

Discussions over the past three days centred critical issues that need to be addressed for African trade and regional integration, among others.

Participants, among them ministers of trade, senior government officials, representatives of the private sector CEOs, civil society, international development agencies academia and others, pondered on how the CFTA can contribute to structural transformation in Africa; how to ensure that the CFTA is effectively implemented; how to make the agreement gender inclusive; the CFTA’s potential impacts on critical economic and social human rights, and mitigation strategies where there is a risk of negative impacts; how Africa can make the most of potential relationships with Asia, Europe, the United States and emerging markets; and the importance and practicalities of trade facilitation and start-up incubators in Africa, among others.

Mr. Luke said intra-African trade was important compared to Africa’s trade with other trading partners because African export markets are more diversified and sophisticated, adding in 2015, manufactured goods accounted for 42.8 percent of intra-African exports compared to only 19.0 percent of Africa’s exports outside the continent.

“Boosting intra-African trade through the CFTA is therefore crucial to accelerating structural transformation in Africa,” he told participants.

ECA modelling exercises, Mr. Luke said, indicate that establishing the CFTA has the potential to boost intra-African trade by 52.3 percent between 2010 and 2022.

Trade in industrial products is expected to receive the largest boost, with an additional increase of 53.3 percent over the same period.

Supportive trade facilitation measures, he said, could more than double intra-African trade, stimulating industrial products the most and create jobs for the millions of Africa’s youth who are currently unemployed.

Earlier Mr. Luke officially opened a Research and Capacity Building side meeting at the Africa Trade Week on behalf of Deputy Executive Secretary Giovannie Biha.

He said ATW2016, through its many sessions and networking opportunities, was providing a comprehensive, integrated and inclusive platform for policy dialogue between various trade constituencies on the aspirations of African people as articulated in Agenda 2063.

“Liberalization of intra-African trade, encompassing adequate reduction of tariffs and dismantling of cross-border barriers to trade and investment is essential for engineering Africa’s structural transformation. There is need to design and implement sound and comprehensive policy framework for such liberalization,” he said.

Mr. Luke said the success of Agenda 2063 going forward will depend to a major extent on whether rigorous research and analysis become critical elements of the decision-making process at national and regional levels, adding the workshop was therefore an essential step forward.

He told participants the ECA is positioning itself as Africa’s premier think tank on the current development agenda.

“We have put in place knowledge platforms for consistently generating top quality, thoroughly researched products that reflect the latest thinking on issues relating to Africa’s transformative agenda,” Mr. Luke said.

“It is my hope that researchers and think-tanks gathered at this workshop will continue in the short, medium and long-term support the work of the ECA and other development agencies such as the development banks and bilateral donor agencies in the context of the negotiation and implementation of the CFTA.”...Read More


  • ATIGS 2018

    The Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) is very pleased to announce our participation as Supporting Organization of the 2018 edition of the Africa Trade & Investment Global Summit (ATIGS).

    The 2018 edition of Africa Trade & Investment Global Summit (ATIGS) is scheduled to be held on June 24-26, 2018 in Washington D.C. ATIGS is a unique high-level conference and trade show, prestigious, biennial business platform designed specifically to promote and facilitate international trade and foreign direct investment in Africa, with attendance projection of over 2,000 participants from more than 70 countries for a three day of networking, markets knowledge sharing, marketing & matchmaking, B2B, G2B, G2G meetings & deal making.

    The event will see the participation of more than 150 speakers, over 160 exhibitors, high-level government delegations, project developers, business leaders, trade promotional organizations (TPOs) and investment promotion agencies (IPAs) from various African countries, and over 350 global investors including pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, private equity and asset management firms. 

    Unlike most talk-shop conferences focused on Africa, ATIGS moves beyond that instead focus on providing first hand face-to-face access to African markets at a one-stop shop by featuring African countries pavilions inside hall one representative companies sourcing for international partners & investments, and government agencies (TPO’s & IPA’s) showcasing the wide range of trade and investment opportunities that are available in their respective countries to connect with companies worldwide looking to expand or establish their business operations in Africa, and global investors with interests in Africa. There will also be Middle East, Europe, U.S.A, Canada, and Asia exhibition/pavilions representing companies & government agencies with interests to engage with Africa.

    For more information and to register follow the link below.


  • SISAB Portugal 2018

    SISAB Portugal 2018

    Travel with PACCI to Lisbon, Portugal!

    February 12 - 14, 2018,SET – SPAZIO EVENTI TIRSO

    International Trade Fair for Portuguese Food & Beverage, Logistics and Complementary Sectors Lisbon Portugal


    The Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) in collaboration with Mundiventos Ltd. invites you to the 23rd edition of SISAB Portugal 2018 from February 12 – 14, 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal. SISAB 2018 is a two days international trade fair where leading Portuguese export companies and entrepreneurs in the food and beverage industry meet. The 23rd edition of SISAB PORTUGAL 2018 – International Trade Fair for Portuguese Food and Beverage – will be held at Meo Arena in Lisbon, Portugal. This is the biggest show of prestigious and high quality products and brands to international market with some 500 Portuguese exhibiting companies of 28 sectors such as Wines, Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, Fish and Seafood, Meat, Dairy, Confectionery, Fruits & Vegetables, Biological products, among others. Also, additional areas are offered to non-food and beverage suppliers such as Crockery, Cutlery, Plastic and utensils, Logistics, Transport, so as to complete your experience at the trade show.


    SISAB Portugal 2018 features:

    • more than 500 National companies from 28 Sectors
    • more than 6,000 Brands and Products
    • more than 16,000 Labels and Packaging solutions
    • more than 1,700 International Buyers from 110 Countries
    • 450 States and Regions




    • 3 nights accommodation in a single room at 5-Star hotel
    • 3 Lunches and 2 Dinners
    • 3 Days Entrance to the Event

    Not Included In price

    • Airport Transfe
    • Airfair
    • Visa Application Fee

    PACKAGE 2:


    • 3 nights accommodation in a single room at 4-Star hotel
    • 3 Lunches and 2 Dinners
    • 3 Days Entrance to the Event

    Not Included In price

    • Airport Transfe
    • Airfair
    • Visa Application Fee

    This offer has expired!


    General Information Note- EN

    General Information Note- FR

    Event Registration Form



Login to post comments

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.

Latest Tweets