The National Consultative Forum on the African continental free trade area will be held during 19-20 June 2019 in Harare, Zimbabwe. This forum will kick-start a wider stakeholder consultation process slated for 21-28 June 2019, which will feed into Zimbabwe’s national implementation strategy for the AfCFTA. The Forum will be co-organized by the Zimbabwean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade 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 Zimbabwean Government is providing policy direction on the implementation of the AfCFTA and is gathering sectoral views on the challenges and benefits presented by the AfCFTA, with a focus on elaborating which sectors will have the greatest comparative advantage for Zimbabwe, and which will also provide an opportunity for leveraging regional and continental value chains. The country is keen to take advantage of the AfCFTA to jumpstart its re-industrialization programme following decades deindustrialization.
The national consultation process and drafting of the national implementation strategy are part of a wider project aimed 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.