Expert Group Meeting: Governing the Interface between the AfCFTA and Regional Economic Communities Free Trade Areas: Issues, Opportunities and Challenges
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Online - 14:00 -17:00 pm (EAT)

The Regional Integration Section of the Regional Integration and Trade Division (RITD) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) seeks to carry out in-depth research and write an analytically rich and policy-relevant report on the governance of the interface between the AfCFTA and RECs FTAs, including the COMESA/EAC/SADC Tripartite FTA. The overall goal (objective) of this piece of work is to provide member states of the African Union and RECS with concrete policy actions that need to be adopted and implemented to ensure a coherent, coordinated and fully responsive interface between the AfCFTA and RECs FTA’s, including strategies on how to leverage the trade integration achievements of RECs for the benefit of the AfCFTA; as well as lessons that could be drawn from areas of failure of RECs FTAs towards enhancing the successful implementation of the AfCFTA. More specifically, the study will among others attempt to:

  • Identify and map out potential areas of convergence and tension between RECs trade/services liberalization agenda and AfCFTA; as well as articulate concrete policy actions to member states and other stakeholders to facilitate harmonization of RECs and AfCFTA trade/services agendas.
  • Identify key achievements of RECs in the areas of trade and services liberalisation; as well as propose and dissemination of strategies on how African countries should leverage RECs trade integration achievement towards enhancing the implementation of the AfCFTA 
  • Identify areas of failure or/and key challenges in the implementation of RECs FTAs; as well as articulate proactive policy options for adoption by AU/RECs member states to avoid such pitfalls in the process of implementation of the AfCFTA.
  • Articulate the role of RECs in the African Economic Community beyond the AfCFTA and a Continental Customs Union
  • Propose an advocacy and sensitisation campaign strategy to encourage African states, RECs, the African Union and other stakeholders to adopt policies/strategies to ensure coherent, coordinated and fully responsive interface between AfCFTA and RECs FTAs.