Building capacity to help Africa trade better

Final Declaration of the 2nd STC of the AU Ministers of Trade, Industry and Mineral Resources


Final Declaration of the 2nd STC of the AU Ministers of Trade, Industry and Mineral Resources

Final Declaration of the 2nd STC of the AU Ministers of Trade, Industry and Mineral Resources
Photo credit: World Bank

WE, the African Union (AU) Ministers of Trade, Industry and Minerals, meeting in our 2nd Ordinary Session of the Specialized Technical Committee of the Ministers of Trade, Industry and Mineral Resources, under the theme: “The Entry into Force of the Agreement Establishing the AfCFTA and its Implementation” 

COMMENDING the role of the African Union Commission in coordinating the AfCFTA negotiations which led to the successful signing of the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in March 2018 at the AU Extra Ordinary Summit in Kigali; as well as the significant progress made in the ratification of the Agreement;

STRESSING the importance of ensuring the successful completion of the outstanding Phase 1 and Phase 2 elements of the AfCFTA negotiations;

ALSO STRESSING the importance of economic diversification and Industrialization for the sustainability of AfCFTA;

RECALLING the Strategy for the Implementation of the Plan of Action for AIDA that was adopted at the 18th Ordinary Session of the Conference of Ministers of Industry (CAMI) in Durban, South Africa, in October 2008; The Boosting Intra African Trade Action Plan that was adopted by the Conference of African Ministers of Trade (CAMOT) in 2012 as well as the Africa Mining Vision that was adopted in 2009;

COMMENDING the significant progress made so far on the implementation of these strategies in the light of the ultimate goals of the Africa Agenda 2063;

AWARE of the contributions that synergies among Africa’s economic sectors can make to the attainment of rapid development, the promotion of sustainable economic growth, and the achievement of the Africa Agenda 2063 objectives as well as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);

RECOGNIZE the high potential of rapid growth of the SME’s in Africa and its huge potential for job creation for women and the youth as well as reducing illegal migration as well as eradicating poverty

AWARE of the significance of the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA3) as a global initiative to enhance the implementation of the Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa, (AIDA), to anchor structural transformation in the continent. Acknowledging the collaboration with UNIDO, UNECA, Afreximbank and other strategic partners to implement programs to enhance the continent’s industrial and trade capacity as well as implementation of the AfCFTA.


  1. REAFFIRM our commitment to the completion of all outstanding phases of the AfCFTA negotiations, and the upgrading and diversification of our economies’ productive capacities through increased value addition and transformation of raw materials as well as the development of a competitive services sector, so as to increase Africa’s competitive position in the global economy;

  2. RECOMMIT ourselves to the achievement of the goals set out in the various Trade, Industry and Mining development programmes and projects contained in the BIAT, AIDA and AMV;

  3. ADOPT the African Union Strategy for SMEs Development in Africa;

  4. ADOPT the Geological and Minerals Information Systems (GMIS) Strategy;

  5. ADOPT the African Minerals Governance Framework (AMGF);

  6. ADOPT the Africa Mining Vision Private Sector Compact;

  7. REQUEST the African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with all other Stakeholders to finalize work on the African Union Commodity and Trade Facilitation Strategies and present it to the next Meeting of our STC;

  8. INVITE the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to align their Plans of Action with the AU strategies and to take appropriate measures to operationalize their implementation as mandated by the AU Assembly;

  9. REQUEST the AUC to develop other Strategies to advance the work in the areas of trade, industry and minerals

  10. REITERATE our commitment to promoting increased value addition to Commodities through the development of mining, agribusiness and agro-industry value chains;

  11. CALL UPON Member States to fast track the process of ratification of the Agreement Establishing the AfCFTA;

  12. CALL UPON Member States to fast track the process of ratification of the Statute on the establishment of the African Mining Development Center;

  13. URGE the African Union Commission together with AU Member States to work with technical partners to engage all key stakeholders such as Parliament, civil society and private sector to build a constituency of support for the AfCFTA for enhanced ownership and inclusiveness, to enhance prospects for unhindered implementation of the Agreement.

  14. URGE Member states to build and strengthen the capacity of all strategic institutions involved in industry and trade governance to enhance efficiency in the implementation of the AfCFTA Agreement.

  15. NOTE the ongoing digital trade and related initiatives on the continent, such as the Digital Identity led by AUC and UNECA and the African E-commerce Platform, which have the potential to contribute to boosting intra-African trade and transforming Africa and the proposed Ten Framework Principles on Good Digital ID.

  16. RECOMMEND to the relevant Policy Organs of the AU the adoption of a Summit Decision on the need for a continental approach for the establishment of digital ID platforms across Africa based on the Ten Framework Principles on Good Digital ID as a foundation for minimum requirements.

  17. MANDATE the AUC, in collaboration with AU Member States, UNECA and all relevant stakeholders to develop a comprehensive AU Digital Trade and Digital Economy Development Strategy to enable African countries to fully benefit from the 4th industrial revolution and facilitate the AfCFTA implementation and ultimately Africa’s economic and structural transformation.

  18. URGE the AUC and Member States to explore mechanisms to mobilize financing for the development of SMEs in the continent, and explore the development of innovative instruments such as business development services to enhance access to finance, and markets to boost the survival, and viability of SMEs.

  19. CALL UPON Member States to put in place mechanisms for the domestic resource mobilisation and the financing for Mineral Resources Development and the AUC to explore mechanisms for establishing the Minerals Development Fund.

  20. URGE for continuing cooperation between the AUC and the Afreximbank as well as other financing partners towards the financing of the African Union Trade and Industry Agenda.

  21. WELCOME the Afreximbank Pan African Payment platform as an important initiative to Boost Intra-African Trade, and REQUESTS the Afreximbank to accelerate its implementation and encourage similar initiatives.

  22. RECOGNISE the continuing importance of private sector engagement in the realization of the continent’s trade and industrial development agenda and welcome the Pan Africa Trade and Investment Committee (PAFTRAC) as a private sector led platform for the consolidation and advocacy of the African private sector position on continental trade and investment issues;

  23. URGE the AUC to develop a programme of work on the Presidential Fashion Initiative as an initiative for the promotion of the African Fashion Value Chain and as a tool for employment and wealth creation in African Economies;

  24. CONGRATULATE the Government of Egypt on the successful hosting of the first Intra-Africa Trade Fair, jointly organized by the African Union, the Afreximbank and the Government of Egypt, held in Cairo, Egypt, from 11-17 December 2018;

  25. FURTHER CONGRATULATE the Government of Rwanda on its successful bid to host the 2nd edition of the Intra-Africa Trade Fair to be held in 2020, to be co-organized by Afreximbank and the African Union Commission;

  26. REQUEST the AUC, in collaboration with Member States, Regional Economic Communities and Partners to implement this Declaration and to report progress to the STC on Trade, Industry and Minerals.

Adopted on this 12th day of January, 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


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