Facilitating Africa’s Trade

Moderator:  Ms. Julie Gichuru, Presenter Citizen TV, Kenya

Opening Remarks:  S. E. M. Hakim Ben Hammouda, Minister of Finance, Tunisie

Panelists:

  • Hon. Francois Kanimba, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Rwanda
  • Mr. Frederick Yonov Agah, Deputy Director General, World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • Ms. Arancha Gonzalez, Executive Director, International Trade Center (ITC)
  • Mr. Richard Sezibera, Secretary General, East African Community
  • Mr. Jean Louis Ekra, Chairman & President, African Export-Import Bank
  • Mr Johny Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG)

Rapporteur:  Ms. Moono Mupotola, Division Manager, NEPAD Regional Integration and Trade, AfDB

Description:

What type of game-changing intra-African trade do we expect to see in the next 10 years? Despite the reduction in world tariffs and improvements in market access, most African countries find it very difficult to expand trade. This failure to effectively integrate regional and global markets is partly due to structural weaknesses in trade facilitation. Inadequate customs and transit systems, low regional infrastructure connectivity and inefficient logistics services are some of the factors contributing to those high trading costs. To create the “Africa we want”, these bottlenecks must be addressed so that African firms effectively integrate regional and global value chains. The objective of the side event is to identify ways to efficiently channel resources and technical assistance to help African countries develop the infrastructure and institutional capacities needed to improve trade performance. More specifically, the event shall analyze global and regional trends in trade facilitation, especially progress made, challenges and opportunities in order to draw lessons and better inform future interventions. The event shall also include interactive debates on the potential impacts of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.

If you look at the money they get from fishing in African waters, it is more than the money they send to Africa through development aid. This is a case of the rich versus the poor. Therefore, as leaders, we must take action.

Donald Kaberuka, AfDB President

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