Sacu coordination critical for AfCFTA
The negotiation agendas of AfCFTA are still ongoing.
12 April 2021 | Economics
The executive secretary of Sacu, Paulina Elago, during a webinar on Thursday gave the assurance that the union will continue to put measures in place for the effective implementation of the AfCFTA agreement, and will ensure that areas that are lagging behind are prioritised and fast-tracked in terms of implementation.
AfCFTA is a flagship project of the African Union under agenda 2063 which is the continent’s development strategy.
The agreement’s aim is to boost intra-African trade by creating an integrated market for goods and services, promoting cross-border movement of capital and persons, promoting industrialisation, creating jobs and improving the competitiveness of African industries on the global stage.
In her overview of the agreement during the webinar, the executive director in the Trade Law Centre, Trudi Hartzenberg, said the AfCFTA can contribute to the process of building, diversifying and including resilience building for the region’s productive sectors through various channels.
She added that AfCFTA negotiation agendas, including negotiations on tariffs and some rules of origin as well as specific commitments for service, are still continuing.
“Effective implementations of the AfCFTA, looking at key functions like customs and border management in the context of the broader trade facilitation agenda, are key to the success of the AfCFTA,” she said.
As a result of the initiative, trade between countries that have ratified and whose rules of origin are in place commenced in January 2021, following decisions made by respective heads of state in December 2020.
As of 15 March 2021, 36 member states of the Southern African Development Commubity (SADC) have ratified the AfCFTA agreement.
Botswana is one of the SADC member states that has not yet ratified the AfCFTA while Angola, Comoros, and the Democratic Republic of Congo are not yet members of the free trade arrangements. - Nampa