The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), under which African countries began trading in January 2021, marks a significant milestone in Africa’s integration journey.
The potential socio-economic benefits from an enhanced regional market are significant, but various challenges remain in the effective implementation of the trading regime and in mitigating the risks of such gains accruing unevenly across Africa’s diverse economies.
This early stage of implementation also brings opportunities to reflect on and harness the differing domestic competitive advantages and export sectors across countries in reshaping regional value chains, and to streamline inclusivity across the different spheres of economic policymaking.
Panellists will exchange perspectives on the African Continental Free Trade Area, including the priorities for implementation and how to ensure that Africa’s diverse economies and populations, particularly its youth and the most socio-economically marginalized, are able to benefit from it.
The meeting is held as part of the Policy for Recovery in Africa series, in partnership with the UNDP, which brings together expert speakers and decision-makers to examine and exchange on key challenges, potential solutions, and approaches for implementation as African countries confront the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The series provides careful analysis and evidence-based policy solutions towards recovery and progress towards the SDGs and the AU’s Agenda 2063.
This event is held in collaboration with the South African High Commission in London and Chatham House’s Common Futures Conversations (CFC) initiative.
Chair: Bob Dewar, Associate Fellow, Africa Programme, Chatham House
Opening Remarks: HE Nomatemba Tambo, High Commissioner of South Africa to the United Kingdom
Keynote Address: HE Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General, African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat
Komi Tsowou, Regional Programme Advisor and Project Manager – AfCFTA, UNDP Regional Services Centre for Africa
Judith Ameso, Economic Affairs Officer, Regional Office for Africa, UNCTAD
Natasha Kimani, Strategy and Research Lead, Africa No Filter
Jean Desire Kouassi, Founding Member, Common Futures Conversations