African Union Commission to enhance the proposed options for CFTA negotiations modalities
Nairobi, Kenya – 09 January 2017.
African Union Commission (AUC) Experts in Trade related issues are currently brainstorming in Nairobi, Kenya, within the framework of the 7th meeting of Continental Free Trade Area Continental Task force (CFTA-CTF) which kicked off on 9th to 14th January 2017.
The objective of the 7th meeting of the CFTA-CTF is to conduct a diagnostic analysis of the proposed options for CFTA negotiations modalities and to prepare the zero draft text for consideration by the Chief Negotiators.
The Forum will take into account the first aspiration of the of Agenda 2063 for a continental market with the free movement of persons, capital, goods and services, which is crucial for deepening economic integration, and promoting agricultural development and food security, as well as industrialization and structural economic change. It’s also focused on Africa's Regional Integration Program to boost Intra-African Trade and the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) by the indicative date of 2017.
In his introductory remarks, Mr. Nadir Merah, Acting Director and Head of Trade Division of the Department of Trade and Industry of the AU Commission welcomed the participants to Nairobi. He said the meeting is taking place following a week of work by the DTI staff and CFTA Unit with some trade technical experts where analysis and diagnosis of the options of the Modalities (both goods and services) and their impacts on Member States including trade mapping/liberalization of CFTA Member States was carried out. Mr. Merah concluded by informing participants that “Finalization of this exercise was hindered by the lack of comprehensive and complete trade data. It is hoped that as the reports are given, RECs will complement the data gathering exercise based on their regional databases “.
The expected outcome of the 7th Meeting of the CFTA-CTF are revised modalities as well as draft legal texts and annexes on trade in goods and trade in services which will be ready for circulation to Member States for national consultation prior to the next NF meeting scheduled for March 2017.
The meeting is also expected to review the CFTA activity plan for 2017 with the aim to rationalize it in line with other important REC events taking place during the year.
Participants at the meeting are drawn from the RECs and institutions; AMU, CEN-SAD, COMESA, EAC, ECCAS, ECOWAS, SADC, UNECA, as well as UNCTAD.
African Union Commission