Addis Ababa, 20 December 2020, ECA – A Sudan national African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) stakeholders’ meeting organized by the North Africa sub regional office of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Sudan’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) opened today in Khartoum.
The five-day meeting, attracting participants from public institutions, the private sector, civil society organizations and the academia, is aimed at raising Sudanese stakeholders’ awareness about the potential benefits and impacts of the AfCFTA on the economy.
Coming as African countries prepare for the entry into force of the AfCFTA on 1 January 2021, the workshop will help facilitate the design and implementation of the Sudan national strategy.
“We need to work together so as to ensure Sudan benefits from the AfCFTA and makes the most of its strong points - its workforce, its agriculture and industry – to increase exports to African countries,” said Mr. Khaled Hussein, ECA’s acting Regional Director for North Africa.
Sudan is one of 20 African countries yet to formally ratify the agreement by submitting its instrument of ratification with the African Union Commission. A total of 34 countries have already ratified it.
The agreement entered into force on 30 May 2019 after the treaty was ratified by 22 countries – the minimum number required by the treaty. Trading was earlier scheduled to start on 1 July this year but was postponed for six months owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The AfCFTA aims to create the world's largest free trade area with the potential that brings together more than 1.2 billion people with a GDP of over $2.5 trillion and usher in a new era of development. It has the potential to generate a range of benefits through economy of scale, trade creation, structural transformation, productive employment, and poverty reduction.
Through its African Trade Policy Centre, the ECA has been working with the AUC and member states to deepen Africa's trade integration and effectively implement the agreement through policy advocacy and national strategy development.
The ECA also works closely with the International Trade Centre (ITC), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and a selection of independent trade experts with the financial support of the European Union (EU) to support the implementation of the AfCFTA across the continent.
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Tel. +251 11551 5826