With the support of the African Union Commission’s Department of Trade and Industry, the Permanent Mission of the African Union in Belgium organized a sensitization workshop on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The agreement to create the single market for goods and services was signed by 44 out of the 55 Member States of the African Union.
“The European Union has expressed its continued support towards the African continental integration, and notably the AfCFTA, on numerous occasions”, said Ewa Synowiec, European Commission’s Director in charge of trade and sustainable development at DG TRADE.
“The EU will also set up the African Union Trade Observatory, a key pillar of the African Continental Free Trade Area.”
The African Continental Free Trade Area aims at progressively eliminating tariffs and removing non-tariff barriers on intra-African trade, thus creating opportunities for African businesses making the African market – comprising more than 1.2 billion people – the largest free trade area in the world.
“Industrial development is a very important factor in the fight against poverty”, said UNIDO Representative to the European Union and the ACP Group Patrick Gilabert. “It is essential for African countries to rely on their private sector and invest in productive capacities to enable companies to enter global value chains and benefit from sustainable globalization”.
The workshop brought together over 60 participants from Europe and Africa, including representatives of embassies, civil society organizations, international organizations and African development partners.