The African Union Commission (AUC) hosted the Fifth Meeting of the Continental Free Trade Area Negotiating Forum (CFTA-NF) from 27 February to 4 March 2017.
The meeting was attended by senior trade officials from member states, trade experts from Regional Economic Communities and other members of the Continental Task Force, such as the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the African Development Bank.
To meet the Agenda 2063’s aspirations, such as ’a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development’ and "an Africa, whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African people, especially its women and youth, and caring for children", the establishment of CFTA-NF by 2017 is imperative.
The Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Fatima Haram Acyl, indicated that the CFTA-NF presents significant welfare gains, output and employment expansion, and intra-African trade growth in the long run.
“I am confident that the end of 2017 will usher Africa into a new era where our traditional borders will become less important as a result of the establishment of the CFTA,” she said.
The meeting adopted the modalities that will guide negotiations in tariff liberalisation and trade in services liberalisation..