Continental African Free Trade Ministerial Meeting

The headquarters of the African Union in Addis Abeba hosted the eighth ministerial meeting on the Continental African Free Trade Zone Agreement. The aims of the meeting focussed on the adoption of provisions for the official launch of the agreement by Heads of State and Governments at the Niamey Summit, in July.

Following the deposition of the 24 ratification instruments at the African Union, as planned under one of the articles of the agreement, with 22 ratifications the agreement came into effect on 30th May. The meeting was attended by a Government delegation from Equatorial Guinea, led by the the Vice-Minister for Trade and the Promotion of Small and Medium-sized Companies, Domingo Mba Esono, accompanied by the Equatorial Guinea Ambassador to Ethiopia, Crisantos Obama Ondo, and on 7th June it opened with the question of the determination of the host country for the Secretary of the African Free Trade Zone, specifying that the final decision on the headquarters will be taken in July, at the XII Extraordinary Summit, following recommendations from the Executive Council.

The commission will ensure that an agreement for the headquarters is signed between the AU and the interested member State, and presented the range of activities planned for the operational phase of the Continental African Free Trade Zone. This document describes the actions and activities that will be carried out during the five years following the launch of the implementation phase of the free trade area planned for the summit.

Over two days, the ministers for Trade from the 55 member States will examine the activities divided into eight categories; questions of governance; trade in goods; customs cooperation and the facilitation of trade; trade in services; mechanisms for resolving conflict; African Trade Observatory; finance; and the development of a regional value chain.

Source: Equatorial Guinea Press and Information Office

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