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News From Africa

News from the AfCFTA

The Protocol calling on member states to promote women and the youth has been adopted, which is unsurprising as it was not controversial, but we understand that a scheduled meeting of national negotiators on the digital trade protocol had to be abandoned for lack of a quorum. Some member states are complaining that the protocol is being rushed through too fast. There may also be a feeling that one member state is dominating the debate and taking too conservative an approach. There are few issues to be solved, but of course those are the controversial points. The secretariat wants to see the protocol put to the next Heads of State meeting in early 2024.

Negotiations have also started on the 2 framework agreements of interest to ecommerce – the Framework of Regulatory Principles for the Communications Sector, and the Regulatory Framework on Financial Services. The intention is to complete these in 2024. Next year will see the elections for the Secretary-General. HE Wamkele Mene is likely to stand again to continue his impressive results as the first S-G. The Ministers passed a resolution of support in him at their recent meeting;  however, elections are never completely sure and so we will be letting you, our readers, know as the election process unfolds.

Meanwhile, Ghana has emerged as a leader in the AfCFTA’s Guided Trade Initiative (GTI), showcasing 14 companies actively engaged in 40 trades across AfCFTA member countries. Ghana has solidified its commitment to the AfCFTA by actively participating in the GTI since its inauguration in October 2022.

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Alastair Tempest

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