tralac Annual Conference 2023
The 2023 tralac Annual Conference took place on 18-19 May 2023 in Kigali, Rwanda. Government officials, trade experts, entrepreneurs, and tralac alumni from across the continent came together to discuss matters associated with Africa’s integration and trade agenda under the theme of ‘A Practical and Realistic Agenda for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement’. The Conference focused on framing the AfCFTA as a practical continent-wide preferential trade arrangement, aiming to prompt an investigation into a realistic agenda for ensuring the AfCFTA’s effectiveness in driving the continent’s development. Read the Concept note.
Background notes prepared ahead of the Conference covering key issues under discussion are available to download below.
Official Opening Session
H.E. Wamkele Mene, Secretary General, AfCFTA Secretariat
Minister of Trade and Industry, Rwanda, Dr Jean Chrysostome Ngabitsinze
Session 1: Keynote Addresses – A Practical and Realistic Agenda for the AfCFTA
Mr Larry Liza, Director, World Customs Organisation, East and Southern African Region Capacity Building Commissioner
Sam Shivute, Namibia Revenue Authority
Session 2: Africa in a changing global context
Changing geo-political order
Africa’s global trade relations
Chair: Justice Mary Kasango, COMESA Court of Justice
Meeting the Challenges of Emerging Global Realities: Pathways and Opportunities for Africa - Dr Patrick Low, tralac Associate
Africa in a changing global Context - Professor Gerhard Erasmus tralac Associate
Africa and the USA/AGOA - Eckart Naumann, tralac Associate
Session 3: AfCFTA Update
Trading under the AfCFTA: From Guided Trade to a complete Free Trade Area
Investment, Competition Policy and Intellectual Property Rights
Women and Youth in Trade and Digital Trade
A Protocol on Trade and Climate?
Update on the AfCFTA: Towards a workable integration agenda for Africa - Trudi Hartzenberg and Gerhard Erasmus
Update on the Protocol on Intellectual Property Rights - Abrie du Plessis
Session 4: Africa’s industrialisation through value chain development
Global value chain developments: near-shoring, reshoring and friendshoring – implications for Africa’s industrialisation
A gendered analysis of Africa’s value chains
Trading under preferences to support cross-border value chains – what can the AfCFTA contribute?
Mobilising private sector investment in trade-supporting value chains
Value Chains in Africa: Upgrading, the AfCFTA and Trade Advantage - John Stuart, tralac Associate
Unlocking the Potential of Agro-Value Chains under the AfCFTA - Taku Fundira, tralac Associate
Overcoming Constraints to Women’s Participations in Value Chains - Maria Immanuel and Gita Briel
AfCFTA Value Chain Development Initiatives - Cynthia Gnassingbe-Essonam, AfCFTA Secretariat
Session 5: Master Class: Dispute Settlement – Lessons from Cases at the Regional Courts for the AfCFTA
Dispute Settlement: Lessons from Judgments by the REC Courts - Professor Gerhard Erasmus
Session 6: Customs and border management: making the AfCFTA work
What have we learnt from the Guided Trade Initiative?
Implementing Annexes to the Protocol on Trade in Goods: Customs cooperation and mutual administrative assistance, Transit, Elimination of NTBs, Trade Facilitation
Cooperation with the World Customs Organisation and Development Partners
What have we learned from the Guided Trade Initiative of the AfCFTA - Cham Etienne Bama
Making the AfCFTA Annexes work: case of Beitbridge Border Modernization - Rwatida Mafurutu
What we need to do to make the borders work for women - Edina Moyo-Mudzingwa
Customs and Border Management: making the AfCFTA work - Wilfried Deudjui Mbouwe
Session 7: Private Sector Perspectives on the AfCFTA
Global interest in the AfCFTA
E-Commerce and Digital Trade - Alastair Tempest
Private Sector Perspectives - Michael Lawrence
Africa in the Digital Economy: Update - John Stuart
For more information on the African Continental Free Trade Area, please visit tralac’s AfCFTA Resources page.
- What have we learned from the AfCFTA guided trade initiative?
- The AfCFTA: From negotiations to a complete legal compact
- How will the Obligations of the AfCFTA State Parties be implemented?
- The RECs as anchors of African integration: Why are there expectations that they should disappear?
- Investment for boosting intra-Africa trade
- How can the AfCFTA Protocol on Digital trade facilitate intra-Africa digital trade?
- Digital Adoption and Trade Advantage in Africa
- Making the AfCFTA work through modernised customs and border management. What’s happening at Beitbridge border post?
- Customs and border management – Making borders work for women
- Value Chain Participation and Trade Advantage in Africa
- Developing agri-business regional value chains under the AfCFTA?
- Facilitating MSME participation in intra-Africa trade through value chains: case study of Namibia
- Implications of global geo-political tensions for African countries
- The COMESA Court of Justice and the exhaustion of domestic remedies
- How can the AfCFTA promote a trade-related agenda on the protection of the environment?
- Africa’s critical minerals role in the global energy transition
- Towards a Sustainable Blue Economy
- Green Trade Corridors
- Trade in Environmental Services
- The European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism