Democratic Republic of Congo conducts national consultation on the AfCFTA
Addis Ababa, September 17, 2019 (ECA) - By establishing a single market of 1.2 billion individuals representing $ 2.5 trillion of cumulative GDP, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is an important lever to increase the production capacity of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and unlock its commercial potential. It also offers the prospect of generating higher value-added processing opportunities for this state of more than 85 million people, which shares borders with nine neighboring countries and faces the challenge of diversifying its economy.
Against this backdrop, a forum is being held in Kinshasa on 17 and 18 September 2019 to provide information to representatives of various government agencies, the private sector, civil society and academia about the expected effects of the AfCFTA, and to shed light on the strategic orientations envisaged by the Congolese government in its implementation.
Organized jointly by ECA and the Congolese Ministry of Foreign Trade, with the support of the European Union, the forum brings together a hundred key economic actors with a three-fold objective: to analyze the opportunities and challenges related to implementing the AfCFTA in the DRC, to discuss the components of the national strategy and to make recommendations to the government.
In addition to a general overview of the legal and technical fundamentals of the AfCFTA Agreement, the forum will discuss the main principles guiding its effective implementation, as well as the provisions that can contribute to building regional and continental value chains, in particular in the sectors where the DRC holds a competitive advantage.
This meeting is a continuation of a broader capacity building programme initiated by ECA to support governments, at their request, in the formulation of national strategies to implement the AfCFTA.
The DRC signed the Agreement establishing the AfCFTA in March 2018 but has not yet deposited its instruments of ratification with the African Union.