Towards the establishment of a framework for sharing best practices for the implementation of the AfCFTA in West and North Africa

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Lomé, Togo, May 21, 2024 – The Sub-Regional Office for West Africa of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (SRO-WA/ECA), in collaboration with the Enhanced Integrated Framework – World Trade Organization (EIF-WTO) and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation of the Islamic Development Bank Group (ITFC-IDB), is organizing from June 4 to 5, in Lomé, Togo, a mutual capitalization workshop on regional experiences in the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in West and North Africa.

This meeting will be held in a context where, according to the estimates of the ECA, the effective implementation of the AfCFTA would generate an increase in intra-African trade by 33.8% by 2045, including an increase of 41.1% in trade in the agri-food sector, 39.0% for industry, 16.1% for the mining sector, and 39.2% for services.

According to the ECA, trade gains in the ECOWAS sub-region would be 32% higher than in Africa as a whole, with an increase of 29% for the agri-food sector, 24% for industry, 10.6% for mining, and 39.3% for services.

To maximize these economic gains and opportunities, the ECA, EIF-WTO, and ITFC-IDB jointly developed and implemented, over the period 2022-2023, a joint project for the operationalization of national strategies of the AfCFTA agreement.

This pilot project, implemented in eight (8) countries of West and North Africa (Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Mauritania, and Tunisia), has enabled these states to equip themselves with institutional mechanisms to coordinate the implementation of the AfCFTA. It has also provided decision-makers and private sector actors with AfCFTA popularization guides, digital platforms, and sectoral strategies to better guide the agreement’s implementation.

In this context, the main objective of the meeting is to draw lessons learned from the project and to strengthen interregional mutual learning on the implementation of the AfCFTA at the level of West and North African countries. It will also define the prospects for consolidating the results obtained and expanding the initiative.

The meeting will bring together experts from the Ministries of Commerce of the 8 beneficiary countries, the EIF-WTO, the ITFC-IDB, the SRO-WA/ECA, the African Trade Policy Centre of the ECA (ATPC-ECA), the ECA’s North Africa office, the regional office of UNDP, and the AfCFTA Secretariat.

Issued by:
Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826

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