The Gambia Validates National AfCFTA Implementation Strategy

4 March 2020

Banjul, The Gambia 3 March 2020 - The Gambia's government, in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is holding a validation workshop on its national AfCFTA implementation strategy from 2-3 March in Banjul.

The National AfCFTA Implementation Strategy identifies priority actions to be undertaken by the government to effectively realize the potential benefits of the AfCFTA. The strategy identifies measures to ensure adequate implementation of the provisions of the agreement at national levels; to prioritize high-value products with high potential for export into various African markets and to improve and scale sustainable participation in regional value chains.

In addition, the national strategy highlights cross-cutting issues including gender, youth, MSMEs as well as environment and climate change, in order to ensure inclusivity and sustainability. It recommends a National Implementation Committee (NIC) whose overall mandate is to oversee implementation of the strategy and a monitoring and evaluation framework that will track progress on the implementation of the Agreement.

In addition, the national strategy highlights cross-cutting issues including gender, youth, MSMEs as well as environment and climate change, in order to ensure inclusivity and sustainability. It recommends a National Implementation Committee (NIC) whose overall mandate is to oversee implementation of the strategy and a monitoring and evaluation framework that will track progress on the implementation of the Agreement.

David Luke, Coordinator of the African Trade Policy Centre of the ECA, on his part noted that the expected benefits of the AfCFTA will not come automatically. The Gambia, just as other African countries, needs to prioritize where opportunities lie for diversification and integration into regional value chains for both goods and services. He further mentioned the importance of the government to work closely with the private sector in order to create a conducive business environment that enable the private sector to produce and trade in African markets.

Mr. Luke acknowledged that tariff liberalization as envisaged under the AfCFTA will result in revenue loss in an already relatively challenging fiscal framework in The Gambia. The draft strategy document recommends that the Gambia should seek adjustment support to compensate for this.

Policymakers and experts from the public, private sector, civil society, youth, women and academia have gathered to review and validate the national strategy and come up with recommendations for the effective implementation of the strategy.

This is part of a comprehensive project aimed at deepening Africa's trade integration through effective implementation of the AfCFTA. Financially supported by the European Union and Global Affairs Canada, ECA has been working with its partners including the African Union

Commission (AUC), International Trade Centre (ITC), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and independent trade experts to ensure effective AfCFTA implementation strategies.

For more information Contact

Senait Afework

African Trade Policy Centre

Economic Commission for Africa

PO Box 3001

Addis Ababa

Ethiopia

Tel: +251 11 5 44 39 29

E-mail: eca-atpc@un.org ; eca-info@un.org

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