Expert Group Meeting on Transformative Industrialization in the Context of the CFTA
Monday, July 17, 2017 to Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Nairobi, Kenya

During the June 2015 Summit held in Johannesburg, the Heads of State and government of the of member States of the African Union launched the negotiations for the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) with the aim of adopting the CFTA Agreement at the end of 2017. The successful implementation of the Continental Free Trade Area could usher in profound economic and political development and lift the burden of history which African countries have borne since the time of their independence; as well as accelerate the process of regional integration and industrialization as envision in the 1991 Lagos Plan of Action, Boosting Intra-Africa Trade and Agenda 2063. The CFTA will:

  • Create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, and thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the Continental Customs Union and the African Economic Market.
  • Expand intra African trade through better harmonization and coordination of trade liberalization and facilitation regimes and instruments across RECs and across Africa in general.
  • Accelerate regional and continental integration.
  • Enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level through exploiting opportunities for scale production, continental market access and better reallocation of resources.

The CFTA brings together fifty-four African countries and give access, for each and every country in the continent, to a market with a combined population of more than one billion people and a combined gross domestic product of more than US $3.4 trillion and as well as fast growing middle class[1].

In support of efforts to focus and bolster the implementation of the CFTA, ECA will host an Adhoc Expert Group Meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, 17-19 June, 2017.  The meeting is to review a recently produced a study that investigates how nations can benefit from transformative industrialization in the context of the CFTA and gives practical examples of how to leverage and navigate the resulting market place. The study is expected to provide a basis for workshops/ seminars for RECs and member states to improve their understanding of opportunities associated with CFTA and the ways in which they can draw economic transformation through industrialization and trade in this context.  Most importantly, it will facilitate the creation of an enabling environment for the implementation of the CFTA by providing information for stakeholders including policymakers, government officials, academia and private sector.

More specifically, objective of the Expert Group meeting is to review the study and to give the experts a chance to make inputs.   The EGM will ensure that the document:


  • Can achieved its intended objectives
  • Makes recommendations are practical solutions for countries at different levels of development and trade practical
  • contributes towards Africa’s transformation and in particular gender equity and the empowerment of women and youth as well as respect for human rights, peace and security
  • Strengthen the understanding of the link between industrialization and trade


The main outcome will be to strengthening regional integration and support to the AU and its priority programmes through better. This should help maximize the impact of the implementation of the CFTA as well as facilitate the realization of the vision of regional integration.  The expected outcomes of the meeting are as follows:


a)      Improve the content and structure of the report

b)      Receive comments on usefulness and accuracy

c)      Ensure that the challenges are addressed

d)      Ensure that benefiting institutions are covered

e)      Improve and strengthen the document to support implementation of the CFTA.


The EGM will be attended experts as well as representatives of member states, Academia, Private sector, RECs, SROs, AU and UN agencies, and other international partners operating both sub-regions, including the African Development Bank, the African Union and NEPAD.

For more information, please contact:


Mr. Adeyinka Adeyemi

Senior Inter-regional Advisor

Head of the Regional Integration and Infrastructure Cluster

Capacity Development Division

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

Box 3005, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: +251-11-5443537


Ms. Mamayemesh Teshome

Staff Assistant

Regional Integration and Infrastructure Cluster

Capacity Development Division

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

Box 3005, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: +251-11-5445460