tralac Workshop: Africa’s Industrialisation and the AfCFTA
Africa’s Industrialisation and the AfCFTA: What can we learn from trade-investment-industrial policy linkages and experiences in Southern Africa?
Trade law and policy experts came together on the 12th and 13th of September 2023 in Cape Town to discuss a variety of topics pertaining to the theme: ‘Africa’s Industrialisation and the AfCFTA: What can we learn from trade-investment-industrial policy linkages and experiences in Southern Africa?’, (South Africa, Malawi, Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe). The workshop covered the broad themes of value chain development, investment, infrastructure, Rules of Origin, and case-specific industrial policy strategies.
Discussions highlighted recurring themes, including the importance of good governance, the elimination of non-tariff barriers, and the influence of external parties and regional economic communities on value chains and industrialisation. Infrastructure emerged as a vital determinant of development and foreign investment attraction, with a focus on transforming transport corridors into SMART corridors. Phase II AfCFTA negotiations on investment and intellectual property rights were addressed, emphasising the significance of transparent investment frameworks and IP customisation for innovation. Country-specific cases showcased successful public-private partnerships, sector-specific strategies, and the need for a cohesive approach. These insights offer valuable guidance for policymakers working towards sustainable industrialisation and AfCFTA integration in the region.