The National Consultative Forum on the African continental free trade area held on 23rd and 24th May at Mulungushi Conference Centre in Lusaka, Zambia, marked the start of the wider stakeholder consultation process from 27-31 May 2019, which will feed into Zambia’s national implementation strategy for the AfCFTA. The Forum was co-organized by the Zambian Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC), the Economic Commission for Africa Office for Southern Africa (ECA-SA) and the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) of ECA.
The Zambian government provided policy direction on the implementation of the AfCFTA and gathered sectoral views on the challenges and benefits presented by the AfCFTA, with a focus on elaborating which sectors have the greatest comparative advantage for Zambia, and which also provides an opportunity for leveraging regional and continental value chains.
The national consultation process and drafting of the national implementation strategy are part of a wider project aiming at Deepening Africa’s trade integration through effective implementation of the AfCFTA. Financially supported by the European Union, ECA has been working with its partners including the African Union Commission (AUC), International Trade Centre (ITC), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and a selection of independent trade experts to identify the key elements to be considered in national AfCFTA implementation strategies.