The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) holds the promise to transform Africa by generating the world’s biggest single market for goods and services by number of countries. It also provides an opportunity for African businesses to expand their operations bearing in mind that the AfCFTA is their new domestic market. Given that the success and operations of the AfCFTA depend on the private sector, the African Union Commission and the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA) played a facilitating role along with the African Development Bank, the African Export-Import Bank, the AfroChampions Initiative to bring Business Associations from across the continent together to share perspectives on the role of the private sector in achieving its objectives. This was done through a ‘Policy Dialogue of African Business Associations on Implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area’ held in Addis Ababa on 26 and 27 November 2019.
The Policy Dialogue consisted of an Opening Ceremony, High Level Roundtable and sessions dedicated to:
- Regional Policies in Support of AfCFTA: Investment, Trade-related Infrastructure and Regional Financial Cooperation
- Regional Policies in Support of AfCFTA: Productive Capacities, Trade Facilitation, Trade Defence Measures and Trade Deflection
- Institutions and Structures of the AfCFTA
- AfCFTA, RECs, Diaspora and External Actors: Opportunities and Challenges