AfCFTA Implementation Will Influence Future Trade Policies Of Regional Economic Communities- Wamkele
The Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Wamkele Mene, has addressed Heads and Chief Executive Officers of Regional Economic Communities (RECs) from across Africa on the implementation of the AfCFTA and its likely influence on future trade policies on the continent.
Delivering an address to participants in Arusha, Tanzania on the occasion of the Second Coordination Meeting Of The heads/CEOs of RECs on the implementation of the AfCFTA, Mr. Mene observed that the implementation of AfCFTA will likely influence future trade policies of the RECs.
In this regard, he said, effective collaboration
between the RECs and the AfCFTA Secretariat was necessary to ensure that the AfCFTA outcomes were consistent with regional advancements
in trade integration made thus far and the projections for the future.
Therefore, he noted, the coordination meetings offer the RECs, Business Councils and AfCFTA Secretariat an opportunity to listen to one another, to better understand their areas of difference, and to work together to build consensus around common positions critical to their success at creating an African Economic Community.
Mr. Mene reiterated that previous summits of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and
Government have mandated the AfCFTA Secretariat, the African Union Commission, and the RECs to develop a Framework of Collaboration to enhance complementarity, synergies, and alignment of programmes and activities to facilitate the effective implementation of
In his opinion, by agreeing on a workable framework which will strengthen the interdependence of RECs on the one hand and strengthen the cooperation between RECs and the AfCFTA Secretariat on the other hand, the RECs, Business Councils and the AfCFTA Secretariat will be taking steps critical to the success of the AfCFTA.
He recounted that the Secretariat, and the RECs have already received instructions from the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union to take all necessary steps to ensure the effective implementation of the AfCFTA, including facilitating commercially meaningful flow of goods and services under the AfCFTA preferential regime, across the continent.
According to him, "We were also instructed to develop a coordinated approach to the implementation of the AfCFTA Agreement, with the existing RECs as building blocks."
Prior to the Arusha meeting of the Heads and CEOs of RECs, there had been the Senior Officials Meeting to continue the preparation of actionable strategies towards enhancing the effective implementation of the AfCFTA, drawing lessons from the implementation of RECs’ Free Trade Areas (FTAs) and Customs Unions.
The Senior Officials also engaged with the European Union, with a view towards mobilizing resources for the implementation of the AfCFTA.
The meeting with the EU, which was AfCFTA's second joint meeting for 2022, was of particular importance as the AfCFTA Secretariat and the RECs coordinate their efforts towards mobilizing resources for the effective implementation of the AfCFTA.
According to Mr. Mene, "In between our first coordination meeting in Accra – Ghana in September 2021 and this current round of meetings, our Senior Officials have been able to convene – both formally and informally –
on a number of issues, including on the EU Support and the AfDB’s Phase II Support to the Secretariat."
Story by: The African Entertainment