The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has been described as the most ambitious project for advancing economic integration on the African continent. The AfCFTA is the African Union’s framework to establish a single continental market for goods and services with the free movement of capital and business travelers. AfCFTA presents a chance to defragment the African market, thus enhancing competitiveness and serving as a vehicle to support the achievement of the SDGs.
The AfCFTA is expected to eliminate up to 90% of tariffs and allow free movement of labour, thus, advancing Africa’s industrialization and enhancing the overall economies of scale of the countries involved. However, it is evident that the objectives of the AfCFTA will not be achieved in the absence of structural and systemic assimilation of the goals and rules of the regime.
Additionally, the implementation of the AfCFTA will undoubtedly lead to cross-border disputes between states, businesses and service providers. It has been argued that given the significant divergence in the approaches to the subject of international commercial law in Africa coupled with the complex political economy surrounding it, the idea of a common market can only materialize if certain concrete interventions are made in response to the new framework of the AfCFTA.
It is against this backdrop that the Centre for African Legal Studies (CALS) at the UPSA Law School in collaboration with the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat is organizing the maiden Africa Trade Roundtable under the theme – “Advancing a Continental Market through the AfCFTA”. The event is scheduled for Wednesday May 26, 2021 from 10:00AM to 1:30PM GMT.
The Roundtable will bring together intra-African trade experts, government officials, international trade and commercial law experts, policy makers, scholars, etc. from across the continent to discuss the pertinent issues arising out of the implementation of the AfCFTA.