Lusaka, Zambia 24 September 2019 (MCTI, AUC & ECA) – The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC), the Economic Commission for Africa's Office for Southern Africa (ECA-SA) and African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) held a Media Sensitization and Capacity Building Workshop on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement on 24 September in Lusaka.
In his official remarks at the media sensitization and training workshop on the AfCFTA, ECA Regional Director for Southern Africa, Said Adejumobi noted that "the ratification of the AfCFTA by Zambia would support government efforts at diversifing the economy and boosting Zambia's agriculture production." Meanwhile, Adejumobi challenged participating media practitioners from across the country to increase their interest and knowledge on the AfCFTA project in order to be able to “report on it accurately, write informed stories, and moblise the citizens in supoort of the initiative”.
The capacity building and sensitization workshop for the media brought together over 35 media personnel drawn from across the country. The media is critical to assisting different stakeholders and constituencies to better understand the AfCFTA initiative; its opportunities, challenges and how Zambia can optimally benefit from it. Hence, the Media constitute the major conveyors of the AfCFTA project and therefore require to be trained and well equiped to do so.
Speaking at the same event, the Director for Foreign Trade at the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry (MCTI), Lillian Bwalya said "the ministry will protect and safeguard the interest of Micro, Small and Medium Entreprises (MSMEs) against unfair trade practices. Ms Bwalya explained that the MCTI is currently working on modalities to ensure that "MSMEs benefit from regional market openness and improve their businesses by tapping into the opportunities presented by the AfCFTA. The Ministry has also organised several consultative meetings with MSMEs to develop interventions, including capacity building programmes, that will help Zambia respond to all the opportunities and challenges that come with the liberalization of the regional trade market." she said.
This media workshop is part of a more extensive 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 ensure effective AfCFTA implementation strategies.
The Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa
UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
P.O. Box 30647, Lusaka, Zambia.
Mr. Bedson Nyoni
Senior Information Management Assistant
Economic Commission for Africa Office for Southern Africa (ECA-SA)
Ms. Godfrida Chanda
Public Relations Officer
The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry
Cell: +260 9787171111