Devdiscourse News Desk| Addis Ababa | Ethiopia
A policy dialogue has started on Monday in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa to give a certain roadmap to the strategies for successfully implementing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
The dialogue is co-organized by the African Union (AU) and the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA), a development platform for discussions and reflections. The policymakers and business leaders from pan-Africa and representatives of Regional Economic Communities on the continent commenced the two-day policy dialogue in Ethiopia as they are set to draw a map out how the rightfully implement the trade agreement and set the pace for Africa's aspirations outlined in Agenda 2063, as reported by The New Times.
Agenda 2063 is Africa's blueprint for transmuting the overall Africa continent into the global powerhouse. On Monday, the first session was commenced by Nigeria's ex-President, Olusegun Obasanjo, who is also the Chairperson of the CoDA Board of Directors. He reacted to concerns raised by one of the discussants at the event, on the need for stakeholders to look into the implications of AfCTA without Nigeria, the continent's biggest economy.
Olusegun Obasanjo recalled that Nigeria took over the processes leading to the AfCTA agreement from Egypt and wondered why it suddenly paused signing and was not even participating in the session. He also said that Nigeria must resolve its domestic intrigues and not bring such issues to the African Union table.
The ongoing session mainly emphasizes into the vital elements such as the establishment and efficiency of an active continental free trade area, obviously beyond tariff liberalisation.
The AfCFTA was first signed by the African leaders on March 21, 2018 in Rwanda's capital, Kigali. 23 countries have since ratified the deal with up to 52 of the 55 AU member states signatories.