In 2018 Africa Heads of State signed an agreement that
brought in the AfricanContinental Free Trade Area ( ACfTA )
– a game-changer in African regional and international trade.
covers a market of more than 1.2 billion people and a
combined GDP of $3trillion, with the potential of augmenting
intra-African trade by over 50 %. The saidagreement is
projected to add $75 billion in income to the rest of the
been geographically the largest free trade area in the world
since theestablishment of the World Trade Organization. With
its coming into force in 2021, it hasput African economies
and all African countries on a better economic footing
The said agreement will enhance competitiveness and
stimulate innovation, investment, and economic growth by
augmenting efficiency and eradicating trade barriers.
The removal of tariffs on goods is projected to increase the value of
intra- Africa trade by 15-25 %;
projected to be $50 billion and $70 billion in dollar
to succeed and deliver on its promises,
the African continent will need to improve its infrastructure
and internet connectivity.
of ACfTA in 2021
The world in which the ACfTA came into force was a
markedly different one from whichit was conceived.
The economic destruction caused by COVID 19
manifestedunprecedented health and financial crisis, which
has reversed developments and slowedthe region's growth
For years to come, Africa will derive more significant
benefits from diversification of trade and indeed moving up
the value of the chain instead of free trade as the bulk of
African exports are agriculture, raw materials, and mineral
Africa's challenges are underdeveloped infrastructure, lack
of electricity, labor force, and sparse agro-processing
There is a need for Africa to diversify its products and
have a functional infrastructure network that will also
include food, transportation, and power.
The success or otherwise of ACfTA will be contingent
on a rapid recovery post-COVID -19 global pandemic.
Key Objectives of this ACfTA event
●Highlight challenges Africa faces with the ongoing COVID-19
pandemic on Trade and ACfTA.
●Articulate possible solutions to unreliable infrastructures
and their impact on E-commerce
● Reflect on how to ensure that the effect of COVID-19
on SMEs is not permanent.
●Make connections among various development frameworks,
including Africa Agenda2063, and the 2030 Agenda for
Sustainable Development ( in particular Goals 8, 9, 11,
12,and 17 )
Questions addressed at ACfTA Conference
●How can Africa develop and implement more commercial
activities within the region,with a more flexible trading
arrangement suitable for the unique circumstances of
countries in Africa?
●How can we raise Africa's voice and negotiating power
in world trade engagements?
●What international support does Africa need in capacity,
knowledge, access to the latest science and technology, and financing
instruments to develop infrastructures?
●How can Africa counterbalance the rising trade costs,
improve the capacity of African Countries to better benefit
from the reorganization of GVCs, and strengthen RVCs
– thus mitigating the economic and social impact of the
crisis through new business opportunities, counterbalancing
the deflating pressures on production and salaries?
●How can we ensure that the continent's ambitious food
security policy has a substantial impact on intra- African
Trade in agriculture, food, petroleum, and chemicals sectors
and that lack of implementation of which the disruption of
supply chains could affect
African food security and sovereignty?
It is expected that the side event would :
●Raise awareness, augment commitment, and deepen dialogue
among the Member States, including representatives of Africa
as well as key stakeholders, on Trade and e-commerce in the
COVID-19 recovery and rehabilitation plans; and
● Synthesize views expressed by participants and present the
key messages as possible policy recommendations for
Trade, E-Commerce, Fintech, Bitcoin, and Global Health.
●A virtual "Africa and Asia "Concert after the program.
●Representatives of the UN Member States ;
●Representatives of relevant UN entities and
other international organizations ;
●Representatives of African regional and sub-regional
●Representatives of significant development partners ;
●Representatives of major Civil Society Organizations (CSOs),
the private sector, Academia, Media and interfaith communities.
Ugoji Adanma Eze, Esq, Ph.D.