African Union adopts Africa Prosperity Dialogues AfCFTA action plan

Heads of state of the Africa Union (AU) have adopted the Action Compact of the Africa Prosperity Dialogues (APD) in Ghana last January.

The APD creates an annual platform for Africa’s private sector to network with public officials on the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which aims to create a single market quickly across the continent.

The 36th AU summit’s theme, “The Year of AfCFTA: Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation,” coincided with the Africa Prosperity Dialogues’ theme, “The Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): From Ambition to Action, Delivering Prosperity through Continental Trade.”

The AU fully endorsed the shared ownership approach initiated by the Africa Prosperity Network, the AfCFTA Secretariat, and the Government of Ghana, the host nation of the AfCFTA Secretariat.

The 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union took place from February 18 to February 19, 2023.

The assembly comprises all heads of state and governments of AU member states. The theme of the summit was “The Year of AfCFTA: Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation.”

Part of the Action Compact adopted by the AU reads, “We African Business Executives, Senior Policymakers, Business Associations, Government Ministers, Senior Officials from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, Technocrats, Women and Young Entrepreneurs, met at The Presidential and Business Executives Dialogue held at the Peduase Lodge, Peduase, Eastern Region, Ghana, on the 28 January 2023.”

The business leaders, after extensive deliberation, committed to taking concrete steps in four thematic areas, namely Business Community, Government, AfCFTA Secretariat, and Partners.

On the business community front, the APD agreed to advocate for and utilize the AfCFTA preferential regime under its various instruments. Additionally, they committed to increasing investment in science technology and innovation to power value-added Made-in-Africa production and industrialization.

Furthermore, they advocated for full ratification and implementation of the African Union Protocol of Free Movement of Persons, Right of Residence and Right of Establishment. Lastly, they agreed to work closely with the Governments in the implementation of the Agreement Establishing AfCFTA.

With regard to the second thematic area, “Government”, the business and thought leaders called on African governments to provide an enabling business and investment climate to support the utilization of the AfCFTA preferential treatment.

Additionally, they called on African governments to pursue commodity-based industrialization and facilitate the production of high-quality goods and services within the African Single Market.

Focusing on the AfCFTA Secretariat, the dialogues called on the secretariat to support state parties in the implementation of the agreement establishing the AfCFTA through trade facilitation, collaboration with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), quality infrastructure, and advocacy.

Finally, the APD Compact emphasized the need for the development of partnerships between the public and private sectors to ensure the success of the AfCFTA implementation.


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