Implementing the AfCFTA: the Need for Deepening Private Sector Engagement and Commitment




Since 1 January 2021, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is operational, creating a new trade dynamic on the continent. Africa is now a single market of 1.3 billion consumers. Full implementation of the AfCFTA will contribute to building Africa's structural transformation and will reshape markets and economies across the region. However, no matter how well grounded the AfCFTA objectives are, they will remain elusive if business in Africa is unable to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the AfCFTA, in terms of trade and investment. It is therefore critical that the private sector is effectively engaged in the implementation process, with the active support of governments, the African Union (AU) and development partners. So far, indications are that the private sector has not been adequately engaged. The process going forward must be more inclusive. Given this imperative and with a view to stimulate debate and further propel action on the ground, the session will discuss the main impediments that are affecting the low participation of the private sector in the AfCFTA and showcase good practices in trade policy making and in building productive capacities. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Africa's productive sector and efforts towards recovery and building back better will form the overall backdrop to the discussions

Invited panelists

  • H.E. Mr. Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry of Ghana (TBC)
  • Ms. Tania Rödiger-Vorwerk, Director, Private Sector, Trade, Employment and Digital Technologies, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany
  • Ms. Glwadys Tawema, CEO, Karethic, Benin
  • Mr. Emmanouil Davradakis, Senior Economist, European Investment Bank
  • Mr. Paul Walters, Director for Trade & Development, UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
  • Mr. Michael Kottoh, Chief Strategist of the AfroChampions Initiative



  • H.E. Ambassador Usha Dwarka-Canabady, Permanent Representative of Mauritius/ Coordinator of the African Group at the World Trade Organization



Find out more here.