National Awareness Workshop on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

Image National Awareness Workshop on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

A two-day National Awareness Workshop was held on 9 and 10 November 2022 at Westin Turtle Bay Resort and Spa, Balaclava on the theme "Opportunities and Challenges for Mauritius under the AfCFTA".

The objectives of the workshop were to inform and sensitise representatives of both the private and public sectors of the opportunities and challenges available for trade under the AfCFTA, especially under the AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative and on the imperative of promoting inclusive trade. Participants were made aware of the opportunities under the AfCFTA through a series of presentations and panel discussions by trade and industry experts.

Day One of the workshop focused on market access for goods and services and aimed at sensitizing the private sector of opportunities and challenges under the AfCFTA in terms of exports, cross-border investment, potential of integrating into Regional Value Chains (RVCs), sourcing of raw materials in Africa, trading in Special Economic Zones (SEZ’s) and challenges associated with logistics and connectivity. The National AfCFTA Response Strategy, developed with the support UNECA and funding from the European Union, was launched by the Hon Minister A. Ganoo during the opening of the workshop. The strategy elaborates a series of measures to ensure that Mauritius becomes ready to maximise the potential gains associated with the AfCFTA.

Day Two of the workshop focused on inclusive trade targeting women, youth and SMEs, in light of the upcoming AfCFTA Protocol on Women and Youth in Trade. Participants were sensitised on the theme of Women and Youth in Trade through a panel discussion whereby international experts from UNECA and UNDP as well as officials from the Economic Development Board (EDB), the Ministry of Gender and Family Welfare and the National Women Entrepreneur Council (NWEC) discussed how women and youth-led enterprises may tap into opportunities on the African Continent. The Hon. Minister S. Bholah and Hon. Minister Koonjoo-Shah, present at the opening of the Day 2 of the Workshop, launched the study entitled “The African Continental Free Trade Area and market Implications for Mauritius Economy Post-Covid 19: A Case Study on Manufacturing”.

Sources : ITD

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