Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Annual Conference 2022


tralac Annual Conference 2022

tralac Annual Conference 2022

Africa’s trade and governance agenda in a changing world

The 2022 tralac Annual Conference took place against the backdrop of global crises of which the medium and long-term consequences are not yet clear. At this conference, we discussed some of the features of the crises now to be faced, but the real challenge is to understand their interconnectedness and broader implications. Read the Concept note.

The imminent launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) definitely belongs on the list of good news items, albeit against the background of a difficult negotiating process to reach agreement on final tariff schedules, rules of origin, and services commitments. The growing interest shown by Africa’s business community and the support of institutions such as Afreximbank and by particular donors, are positive signs. These developments are also some of the reasons why tralac will continue to monitor and study developments around the AfCFTA. And we will keep in mind the fact that it has been launched as an African Union flagship project.

We discussed developments involving continent-wide trade under AfCFTA preferences, alongside the Regional Economic Community (REC) Free Trade Areas (FTAs). We recognise that Africa’s economic development and integration is, in the first instance, its own responsibility. That is one reason why tralac’s mantra is good governance. We are of the view that the AfCFTA design has introduced new elements into the debate about regional integration in Africa, through the inclusion of the REC FTA acquis as a founding principle of continental integration.

tralac’s 2022 Annual Conference took place in hybrid format from Nairobi, Kenya.

pdf Conference Report (206 KB)

Background notes prepared ahead of the Conference covering key issues for discussion are available to download belowVideo recordings are also available.

tralac in the News

African leaders to hold industrialization week and extraodinary session on AfCFTA in November 2022 (GhanaWeb)

Fresh push to boost intra-African trade (Business Times)

The AfCFTA guided trade initiative should not last too long – tralac founder (GhanaWeb)

tralac’s 20th anniversary conference underscores AfCFTA’s role in Africa’s economic recovery (African Newspage)

Kenya Prepares Its MSMEs To Harness Opportunities Under AfCFTA (News Ghana)

AUC seeks Tralac support as it implements single market (Business Times)

Keynote address

H.E. Amb. Albert Muchanga, Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals, African Union Commission, delivered a pre-recorded keynote address at the Conference. Download the text of his speech below.

pdf Keynote Address by H.E. Albert Muchanga (130 KB)

We were also pleased to be addressed by H.E. Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the AfCFTA Secretariat in Accra, Ghana.


Day 1 - 13 October 2022

Session 1: International Trade and Governance in a New Global Order

  • Africa’s Trade and Governance Agenda in a changing global Environment

  • Beyond COVID – a resilience agenda

  • The Climate Crisis – Africa’s response?

  • Future of the World Trade Organisation – perspective on Digital Economy Developments


Session 1 - Patrick Low, tralac Advisory Board

Africa’s Trade and Governance Agenda in a changing global Environment - Gerhard Erasmus, tralac Associate

Session 2: Food security, climate and trade

  • Overview of Africa’s food insecurity

  • Climate and agriculture

  • Trade and food security: new approach in the WTO?


Climate, trade, and food security - Dr Edwini Kessie, Director, WTO Agriculture and Commodities Division

Food security, climate, and trade metrics - Gita Briel, tralac, and Maria Immanuel, tralac Alumna

Overview of Kenya’s food Security Situation - Prof. Tabitha Kiriti Nganga, Chair: WTO Chairs Program and Professor of Economics, University of Nairobi

Session 3: The AfCFTA: update and future developments

  • The AfCFTA in terms of its own design

  • Trade under the AfCFTA regime – and the Guided Trade Initiative


The AfCFTA: Update and future developments - Gerhard Erasmus, tralac Associate and Trudi Hartzenberg, tralac

Session 4: Movement of Persons and African integration

  • Update on AfDB’s Visa Openness Index

  • AfCFTA Trade Facilitation Agenda


Update on the Africa Visa Openness Index - Zodwa Mabuza, African Development Bank Group, Regional Integration Coordination Office

AfCFTA Trade Facilitation Agreement and the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons, Right of Residence and Right of Establishment (FMP) - Eckart Naumann, tralac Associate

Day 2 - 14 October 2022

Session 5: Dispute Settlement in Africa – Book Launch

  • Dispute Settlement in the AfCFTA

  • Regional Courts of Justice

  • Domestic legal remedies


African trade and integration: Law, practice and the courts - Professor Dawid van Wyk, tralac Associate

Domestic Remedies - Creck Buyonge Mirito, International Customs and Trade Policy Expert

Session 6: The AfCFTA as a Framework for Africa’s Industrialisation

  • Continental value chain development: a gendered analysis

  • Complex value chains – and the role of rules of origin

  • Digital developments and industrialisation


Session 6 - John Stuart, tralac Associate

Rules of Origin outcomes and Value Chains - Eckart Naumann, tralac Associate

New and updated AfCFTA resources

For more information on the AfCFTA, the negotiations, legal texts and other key documents and analysis, please visit our resources page.

pdf AfCFTA Frequently Asked Questions (530 KB)

pdf AfCFTA: a tralac guide, 9th edition (2.74 MB)

pdf Status of AfCFTA ratification as at October 2022 (1.09 MB)

pdf e-Book: African Trade and Integration: Law, Practice and the Courts (8.44 MB)

pdf Intra-Africa trade by REC: 2021 update (4.36 MB)

pdf Climate, trade and food security infographic (496 KB)


tralac Annual Conference 2022 - DAY 1

tralac Annual Conference 2022 - DAY 2


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