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News From the African Free Trade Area

The AU’s Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) convened the third and final multi-stakeholder national dialogue series of the year on the Free Movement Protocol (FMP), in September. Increased mass migration and displacement within the African continent has spurred several policy frameworks to address and manage the free movement of people. The AU in particular has established 2 key policy frameworks to address, manage, and promote migration and mobility within the continent: the FMP and the Migration Policy Framework for Africa (MPFA). Unfortunately, despite the existence of migration policy frameworks, policy uptake among AU member states and their popularization within African civil society remains low and neither framework has achieved the desired effect – yet.

Meanwhile, the AfCFTA Secretariat hopes that the draft Digital Trade Protocol will be ready for adoption by the Ministers at their April meeting. Framework agreements are under preparation. The Framework on Financial Services has just appeared as a “Zero Draft”, other Frameworks under preparation are on Communication Services and Transport/Logistics. Both of these are expected to be available in 2024.

Alastair Tempest

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