Africa is on the move! July 7th, 2019 marked the launch of the operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The objective is to bring together all 55 member states of the African Union into one of the world’s largest free trade areas. Once trading begins on July 1st, 2020, the AfCFTA has the potential to:
- Boost Intra-African trade by at least 52% (UNECA) through the reduction of import duties and improved harmonization of trade liberalization and facilitation instruments across the RECs;
- Increase the competitiveness of African industry by providing opportunities for scale production, continental market access and improved resource allocation (TRALAC, 2019); and
- Meet the growing food demand, which is projected to reach USD 1 Trillion by 2030 (AfDB, 2018).
However, if Africa is to realize this potential, there are challenges that will need to be addressed. Coherent domestic marketing and trade policies are needed to encourage the required private investments in agricultural commodity value chains that will achieve sustainable productivity growth. In the face of these challenges, valid questions arise as to whether or not the transformation narrative on the continent will falter (Fioramonti, 2017). To ensure sustainable transformation will require committed and innovative leadership, transparent accountability, and evidence that will allow for accurate measurement of progress.
To find solutions to these challenges, ReNAPRI’s 6th Annual Stakeholder Conference will engage a diverse group of highly informed stakeholders committed to unlocking the region’s agricultural potential. The sessions will be geared to identify effective policies and innovative public and private sector investments which will open markets and facilitate broad-based growth.
The theme for this year’s conference is, “Journey to Self-Reliance: unlocking the potential of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement“.
The purpose of the conference is to create a platform for strategic dialogue and evidence-based guidance within the context of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. Our premise is that an evidence-based understanding of agricultural marketing and trade policy impacts can assist African governments, private firms and civil society groups to anticipate and effectively respond proactively to the emerging challenges in the region.
The key objectives of the 6th Annual ReNAPRI Stakeholders’ Conference are to:
- Unpack the potential impact of the AfCFTA on the agri-food system and identify concrete policy-action to ensure its success;
- Outline strategy for prioritizing targeted public investment that facilitates scale production within key value-chains;
- Develop a 5-point agenda on expanding sustainable production to meet the regions’ growing food demand;
- Enhance engagement of African parliamentarians and government officials on issues pertaining to regional trade; and
- Assess the operational feasibility of alternative policy options by clearly identifying concrete strategies that address the challenges to trade – i.e., focusing on the “how” questions.
Questions? Please contact us at [email protected]
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