Nairobi – Experts from Africa’s regional economic communities, the African Union Commission, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and academia are meeting in Nairobi, Kenya to discuss issues connected to the Continental Free Trade Area (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 $2.5 trillion.
With the CFTA, African leaders aim to, among other things, 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.
The meeting this week will focus on nine issues that can be feasibly achieved or agreed upon ahead of the October 2017 deadline. These are; trade in goods, trade in services, agriculture, fisheries provisions, industrial pillar, common investment area, trade facilitation and customs cooperation, trade remedies and competition policy and institutional arrangements for implementation.
The expert group meeting is jointly organized by the Department of Trade and Industry of the African Union Commission and the ECA’s African Trade Policy Center.