Building capacity to help Africa trade better

The AfCFTA needs an active and innovative Secretariat

Trade Briefs

The AfCFTA needs an active and innovative Secretariat

The AfCFTA needs an active and innovative Secretariat

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Secretariats are standard features of African regional integration arrangements. This will be true of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) too. The extent of all the powers and functions of the AfCFTA Secretariat is not yet fully known, but from the design of the AfCFTA it is clear that the Secretariat will be responsible for essential tasks. It should enjoy the powers and space required for advancing and promoting the AfCFTA’s ambitious agenda. It will in many ways differ from the regional economic community (REC) secretariats.

There are provisions in the AfCFTA Agreement which indicate that deliberate choices have been made and compromises have been agreed regarding the design of the AfCFTA. They will determine how this ambitious deal will be implemented within the constraints of existing conditions and alongside national and regional integration structures that will remain active players in respect of economic integration and trade liberalisation.

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