Among other objectives, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) seeks to increase trade among African countries through the gradual elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers. Given the historically low levels of trade among African countries, the AfCFTA is expected to stimulate economic growth, create employment opportunities, attract foreign direct investments and stabilize the political economy of African countries.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari approved the establishment of a National Action Committee (NAC) for the successful implementation of the AfCFTA, which he signed on behalf of Nigeria at the 12th Extraordinary Session of the African Union Heads of State on July 7, 2019, in Niamey, Republic of Niger.
The National Action Committee will be comprised of representatives of Ministries and Agencies with competent and relevant jurisdiction, and selected stakeholder groups from the private sector and the civil society to coordinate the implementation of all interventions in the AfCFTA.
The National Action Committee (NAC) has since inauguration, undertaken a process of engagement with stakeholders to sensitize them on the opportunities and challenges of the AfCFTA, with preparedness plans for the Nigerian economy. The Economic Commission for Africa has supported the NAC to carry out consultations in the geopolitical zones across three states (Lagos, Kano, Enugu), the analysis of data and ultimately the development of a draft AfCFTA strategy and implementation plan.
The development of the strategy is based on a process that is both participatory and inclusive. It has enabled the collection of both quantitative and qualitative data, and defined an application plan for the measures contained in the Agreement establishing the AfCFTA.
To this end, the National Action Committee (NAC) on AfCFTA in collaboration with the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is organizing a Validation Workshop of Nigeria’s AfCFTA Strategy and Implementation Plan on 7 December 2022 in Lagos, Nigeria.
Following the updates made from the technical review session held in November 2022, the validation of the AfCFTA National Strategy and Implementation Plan within a much wider group aims at establishing and building recognition, acceptability, ownership of the plan towards a successful implementation of the AfCFTA in Nigeria.