The plan for implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) was discussed by several Zambian entities. This week’s meeting served to validate the agreement and also to revise the country’s project.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the private sector, civil society, academia, women’s associations in business and government institutions, as well as business organizations.
The meeting also sought to ensure that the terms of the agreement provide a solid foundation for the necessary leadership of its implementation in Zambia.
Zambian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) President Chabuka Kabwesha advised the government to accelerate the implementation of AfCFTA so that Zambia can start benefiting from the continental market. Kabwesha noted that the service sector and sectoral connections through national and regional value chains will grow equally in scale and demand, especially small and medium enterprises.
“With Zambia’s national implementation strategy in place and multi-stakeholder engagements ongoing, we hope that Zambia will reach a national consensus and the AfCFTA will be ratified,” said ECA Southern Africa Regional Director Said Adejumobi. He warned that the AfCFTA National Strategy should not be turned into ‘another document’, but should be a guiding compass that will ensure that Zambia becomes a significant player in Africa’s regional economy and the evolving market.
Zambia’s Ministry of Trade, Trade and Industry were present in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC), the Economic Commission of the Africa Office for Southern Africa (ECA-SA) and the African Trade Policy Center (ATPC).