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ECA supports DRC to organize workshop to validate its national AfCFTA implementation strategy

15 June, 2021

Addis Ababa, 15 June 2021 (ECA) – The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Democratic Republic of Congo‘s Ministry of Foreign Trade, with the financial support of the  European Union(EU), will be hosting a workshop from 17 June to 18 June to validate the country’s national African Continental Free Trade (AfCFTA) implementation strategy.

Stakeholders from the public sector, the private sector, the media, parliament, professional bodies, civil society groups, women and youth organizations are expected to participate in the meeting in the capital Kinshasa.

The national review and validation workshop mainly aim to collect the assessments of the provisional report by all the stakeholders and their contributions for the enrichment of the provisional document of the National Strategy for the implementation of the AfCFTA. The previous meetings took place last December in Kinshasa, Goma, Lubumbashi and Matadi between 10 March and 24 March this year.

The DRC, which shares borders with nine countries, offers the prospect of generating higher value-added processing opportunities for its more than 85 million people from its vast resources.

Although it signed the agreement establishing the AfCFTA in March 2018, DRC has not yet deposited its instruments of ratification with the African Union (AU).

This validation Meeting of DRC’s AfCFTA National Strategy is one of the key actions part of the EU funded project: ‘Deepening Africa’s Trade Integration through Effective Implementation of the AfCFTA to support Economic Integration’ with a total budget of € 8 million.

The AfCFTA provides the opportunity for Africa to create the world's largest free trade area by the number of participating member-countries with the potential to unite more than 1.2 billion people in an economic bloc with gross domestic product valued at least $2.5 trillion and usher in a new era of development for the continent.

It has the potential to generate a range of benefits through supporting trade creation, structural transformation, productive employment and poverty reduction.

Through its African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC), the ECA has been working with the African Union Commission (AUC) and member states to deepen Africa's trade integration and effectively implement the agreement through policy advocacy and national strategy development. It also works with the International Trade Centre (ITC), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and independent trade experts.

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