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New ECA Report reveals AfCFTA’s impact on investment

8 December, 2021
New ECA Report reveals AfCFTA’s impact on investment

Addis Ababa, 8 December 2021 (ECA) - The Regional Integration and Trade Division (RITD) of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) today launched a publication entitled: “Towards a Common Investment Area in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): Levelling the Playing Field for Intra-African Investment”.

The report, launched on the sidelines of the Second Session of the Committee on Private Sector Development, Regional Integration, Trade, Infrastructure, Industry and Technology, provides concrete evidence and data to policy makers, media and business-owners on how they can take advantage of the economies of scope and scale of the envisioned AfCFTA Investment Protocol to attract investment.

Presenting the report, Mr. Joseph Baricako, speaking on behalf of the Director of the Regional Integration and Trade Division (RITD) of the ECA, Mr. Stephen Karingi, said: “To attract new FDI during the post-pandemic recovery and rebuilding stage, the upcoming AfCFTA negotiations should serve as a platform to harmonize investment rules and create a level playing field for investors.”

The report also highlights and characterizes the digital economy in Africa, taking into account of the players, sectors, components and value of the economy on the continent. It looks at the various initiatives, policies and regulations being developed to support the digital economy—and e-commerce in particular—at the continental, regional and national level and how these efforts could affect investment decisions. The focus is on recent efforts to develop e-commerce in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the African Union (AU) Digital Transformation Strategy initiative.

The report also provides wide-ranging recommendations for change, highlighting five key areas of action:

  1. Africa needs to develop regional value chains and reduce its external economic dependence;
  2. Investment policies can play a critical role in protecting supply chains and strengthening the continent’s readiness to respond to future crises;
  3. The AfCFTA must be at the forefront of Africa’s economic recovery;
  4. The Investment Protocol will boost FDI inflows by harmonizing rules and creating a level playing field for investors; and
  5. COVID–19 has catalyzed changes that present Africa with a unique opportunity to capture the benefits of e-commerce and digitalization.

On his part, Mr. Karingi underlined that countries in Africa should incorporate the pandemic’s lessons into investment policy formulation and reforms to prepare better for future crises, through industrialization and better inclusion in regional value chains.

The virtual event brought together African policymakers, the private sector and development partners to discuss the role of investment policies in supporting Africa’s economic recovery.

The study was funded by the German government (BMZ/GIZ) and Danish government as part of an agreement with the ECA to support the implementation of the AfCFTA.

For more information Contact

Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826
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