Harare — All is set for an Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), African Union Commission and Zimbabwe government workshop to validate Harare's strategy on the implementation of the historic African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The workshop, which runs from 2-3 October under the theme Expanding Industrial and Trade Growth through the AfCFTA, will be preceded by a day-long meeting to sensitise the country's private sector on the AfCFTA.
During the private sector sensitisation meeting, participants will tackle topics that will help the business community understand the AfCFTA Agreement; the protocol on trade in goods; dispute settlement; Zimbabwe's emerging schedule of tariff concessions (CTC); understanding the protocol on trade in services and the ancillary instruments of the AfCFTA; the Online portal for tariff offers; the Pan-African Digital Payment System; and the dashboard of the African Union's Trade Observatory, among others.
Speaking ahead of the private sector meeting, which will be held on the 1st of October 2019, Mr. Batanai Chikwene, an Economic Affairs Officer at the ECA, said; "It is very important that the African Union Commission, the ECA and the government of Zimbabwe are working together to unpack the AfCFTA which, if fully implemented will no doubt change the face of the continent and the lives of its people for the better. It is time for us to now move with speed to implement the AfCFTA and reap the benefits of the agreement."
Participants will also discuss how the private sector can be better organized for more effective engagement with government and other key players on trade policy making and implementation.
The validation workshop and the private sector sensitisation meeting follow an earlier AfCFTA consultative workshop and extensive in-depth stakeholder consultations that led to the production of the draft national strategy. The AfCFTA Strategy Validation Workshop seeks to review and finalize the strategy and its implementation plan.
The overall objectives of the two-day workshop are to review the country's draft AfCFTA strategy and implementation plan in terms of content, objectives, proposed actions and implementation framework.
The workshop will also review the proposed Terms of Reference for Zimbabwe's AfCFTA Committee to ensure they provide a solid foundation for the required leadership that will lead the implementation of the AfCFTA in the country.
The AfCFTA is one of the milestone trade policy developments in Africa which is expected to change the way Africa trades and catalyse transformation in a way trade policy has not done before.
The validation workshop will be attended by representatives of the private sector, civil society, academia and associations of women in business and government institutions.
The Government of Zimbabwe will be represented by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, which is co-organizing the workshop with the AUC and the ECA. Representatives of key parastatals and other ministries will also attend.
Issued by: The Economic Commission for Africa
Mr. Clifford Mufiri
Government of Zimbabwe
WhatsApp: +263 772 428 405
Mr. Bedson Nyoni
Senior Information Management Assistant
Economic Commission for Africa Office for Southern Africa (ECA-SA)
Ms. Sandra Nyaira
Economic Commission for Africa