Mauritius, with the support of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, has organised a national consultative meeting to guide the development of the country’s African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) implementation strategy.
Scheduled for the capital city Port Louis, the meeting is expected to kick-start reflections on how Mauritius can seize the opportunities of the AfCFTA to deepen its level of trade integration with the rest of Africa.
The collaboration comes under the mandate of the Commission through the African Trade Policy Centre to help AfCFTA member-states to prepare for the agreement’s implementation to start next year.
Among other things, the national strategy is expected to:
- provide guidance on how Mauritius could enhance economic diversification and maximize trade in goods and services, including in markets not yet explored;
- boost investment potentials through an assessment of comparative advantages and investigate value chain development at the regional and continental level, and;
- account for issues pertaining to investment, intellectual property rights, competition policy and e-commerce.
The process of domesticating the AfCFTA agreement starts with building a national consensus with interest groups understanding what is at stake while state parties take actions to align their national strategies and undertake necessary policy reforms to better leverage the opportunities offered by the agreement.
Mauritius is one of the 30 countries that have ratified the agreement. The agreement, once operational, will be the world’s largest by number of participating countries. It will be a market of 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product of US$2.5trillion. It will also constitute a significant milestone towards the realization of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 for the socio-economic transformation of the continent.
This meeting is part of a more extensive project aimed at deepening Africa’s trade integration through effective implementation of the AfCFTA. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa 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.
Learn More: UNECA