"Private Sector needs to produce and export high quality products to reap the benefits of the AfCFTA" says Malawian Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism

Blantyre, Malawi, 23 September 2019 – The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, in partnership with the Economic Commission for Africa and the African Union Commission (AUC) held an AfCFTA Sensitization Workshop in Blantyre on Thursday 19 September. This workshop brought together approximately 120 participants from the private sector, civil society organizations, government and academia. The purpose of the workshop was to promote dialogue and develop a better understanding of the AfCFTA. In addition to securing consensus for Malawi to ratify the AfCFTA Agreement. The workshop also focused on AfCFTA ratification and implementation, and the technical details of the Agreement, such as Rules of Origin and Non-Tariff Barriers. The workshop mapped out specific benefits of the AfCFTA for Malawi, such as access of Malawi's products and services to 1.2 billion people; creation of business opportunities for Malawians; promoting industrialization for the country due to increased market; infrastructure development; amongst others. This workshop was one of two sensitization workshops that took place last week in Malawi.

 In his official opening remarks, Dr. Ken Ndala, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism spoke about the critical role of the private sector. "To produce and export high-quality products to be competitive in the global market. In the modern commercial world, it is only innovative and competitive businesses which will succeed in the marketplace. I, therefore, wish to encourage the business captains in Malawi to put serious thoughts and efforts into product innovation and diversification."

On his part, Said Adejumobi, ECA Regional Director for Southern Africa, explained that Malawi stands to benefit from the AfCFTA."The AfCFTA will complement the government's efforts at diversifying the economy, promote manufacturing and stimulate agricultural production with increased and expanded market, which should offer great opportunities for agro-processing as well" he said. 

On the possible concerns in ratifying the AfCFTA, Adejumobi noted, "I am sure there are fears and concerns on the issue of ratifying the AfCFTA. Some of those could include the fear of competitiveness, especially of local industries in a much-liberalized market, the issue of jobs associated with it, government revenue etc. Those fears are more perceived than real, and this platform will offer Malawians a unique opportunity to dispel those fears, raise issues, make clarifications, and come to a common but better-informed understanding, on why we should be part of the AfCFTA process". 

ECA is supporting Malawi with the development of their national strategy on the AfCFTA, which requires African countries, including Malawi to deploy deliberate strategies towards ensuring that the private sector is ready to take advantage of the market opportunities offered by this Agreement.

The workshop is part of a more comprehensive project aimed at deepening Africa's trade integration through effective implementation of the AfCFTA. Financially supported by the European Union, the 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 ensure effective AfCFTA implementation strategies and building national consensus to support the implementation of the AfCFTA.


Media Contacts:

Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism

Gemini House

PO Box 30366

Lilongwe 3


Tel: +265 1 770 244

E-mail: mayemsokera@gmail.com

Copy: chatimachristina@yahoo.com



For more information Contact:
Emmanuel Joshua Chinyama

Economic Affairs Officer

Regional Integration Section

Regional Integration and Trade Division

Economic Commission for Africa

PO Box 3001

Addis Ababa


Tel: +251 11 551 5826

Email: chinyama@un.org


Communications Section

Economic Commission for Africa

PO Box 3001

Addis Ababa


Tel: +251 11 551 5826

E-mail: eca-info@un.org or madu@un.org