The year 2023 is the African Union (AU) Year of Acceleration of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Implementation. The AfCFTA is expected to transform African economies and increase intraregional trade and inward investment. There is much progress on negotiations but the ultimate benefits depend on the way AfCFTA commitments are implemented. National AfCFTA Implementation Committees (NICs) can help in this endeavour.
In line with the Decision of the 31st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (the AU Assembly), held on 1–2 July 2018 in Nouakchott, Mauritania, Member States are required to set up NICs to facilitate implementation of the AfCFTA Agreement. This has led to much interest in Member States in what effective NICs look like and what they do. The role of the AfCFTA Secretariat in supporting the formation and operation of NICs is paramount.
Based on the experiences of NICs in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda, we identify 10 critical functions for effective National Implementation Committees and three types of bodies that are essential for their successful operation.
We suggest a five-step template for the formation of NICs appropriate to each country setting:
- form multi-stakeholder committee/s;
- develop a clear mandate;
- provide adequate resources;
- engage in consultation and outreach;
- and monitor and evaluate.
Find out more by downloading the policy brief below, or reading the full AfCFTA National Implementation Committee report, which includes detailed analysis.
For more information on our AfCFTA work, visit our programme page: Supporting Investment and Trade in Africa.