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AfCFTA and rules of origin for the textile and apparel industry in Africa

Working paper

Written by Prachi Agarwal, Faizel Ismail, Vuyiswa Mkhabela

Image credit:Lucian Coman/Shutterstock.com

Free trade agreements and regional trade agreements use rules of origin (RoO) to determine the national origin of products and to establish the thresholds for local content or value-added before the products are re-exported. There are new opportunities to set appropriate rules of origin under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in the textile and apparel sector.

This paper is intended to stimulate a debate on rules of origin for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in the textile and apparel sector. It argues for a ‘developmental regionalism’ approach to the AfCFTA rules of origin that supports a Made in Africa approach. This will, in turn, facilitate the diversification of Africa’s economies towards higher-value production and the creation of regional value chains in the textile and apparel industry.

In the paper, we use trade and production data on the industry, and lessons drawn from successful cases in the region that developed regional value chains. The paper finds that AfCFTA rules of origin can be used to create a large internal market to attract domestic, regional and international investments to spur production and exports from Africa.

If you would like to find out more about how we support investment and trade in Africa, please visit our SITA programme page. You will find a wealth of research and resources on the negotiation and implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.

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