tralac-Sidley AfCFTA Breakfast Event – Geneva, 4 July 2019
The AfCFTA: From Dream to Reality
With the launch of the AfCFTA in Niamey on July 7, Sidley Austin’s Pro bono program and Trade Law Centre (tralac) co-organised a breakfast discussion at the margins of the A4T Global Review on how to make the AfCFTA a success.
The discussion focused on rules of origin, the role of the private sector, persistent non-tariff barriers, the importance of services, tariffs, industrial policy, and trade facilitation. For the AfCFTA to truly deliver, much work remains to be done, and there are significant challenges given the scale of ambition. At the same time, there is strong political will, support from development partners, and much that can be built upon and learned off the platforms of Africa's regional economic communities as well as the WTO.
With a special thanks to UNCTAD’s Secretary General Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi for delivering the opening address, and to our other speakers: Patrick Low, tralac Advisory Board member and former Chief Economist at the WTO; Rajesh Aggarwal, Director, International Trade Centre; Frank Matsaert, TradeMark East Africa CEO; and Malawi’s Ambassador to the WTO, His Excellency Robert Salama.
Additional discussants included Edwini Kessie (Director, Agriculture and Commodities Division, WTO); Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter (South African Ambassador to the WTO); Tom Pengelly (Saana Consulting and Tralac Advisory Board); Judith Fessaih (ITC SheTrades); Cleopa Kilonzo Mailu (Kenyan Ambassador to the WTO); Antonio Nucifora (Lead Economist for Brazil, World Bank); and Todd Friedbacher (Managing Partner, Sidley Austin).