Rvmypdb Afcfta
Rvmypdb Afcfta

The African Union (AU) on Thursday swore in Wamkele Mene as the Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat to be based in Ghana’s capital Accra where the AfCFTA will be headquartered.

As one of his mandates, the Secretary General is expected to ensure that implementation instruments required are in place by July 1 this year for the start of the AfCFTA’s trading.

The Secretary General will provide leadership and technical support to AfCFTA Secretariat and overall management of the day-to-day functioning of the Secretariat to ensure that it achieves its desired mandate.

He will be responsible, in particular, for the management of the AfCFTA Secretariat, implementation of the AfCFTA Agreement and strategic collaboration; diplomatic, representation and stakeholders’ engagement; information management and dissemination and resources mobilization for the implementation of the AfCFTA.

The 33rd AU Heads of states summit decided among others that the swearing in and installation of the incoming AfCFTA Secretary General be held in Accra, Ghana on March 31, 2020, and directed the AU Commission to prepare for the installation ceremony in close liaison with the Government of the Republic of Ghana as host.

In his acceptance speech at a ceremony held on the premises of the AU headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, Mene has vowed commitment to ensuring that the AfCFTA is effectively implemented such that there is shared and inclusive economic growth.

“The backlash against free trade and trade liberalization that we have witnessed in recent years is not because trade liberalization is intrinsically beneficial exclusively to a certain elite or to certain countries,” he said, “Rather, the backlash is, in part, attributable to the unequal distribution of the benefits of international trade and a lack of shared and inclusive growth.”

“If the AfCFTA is perceived to be benefiting only a handful of 6 relatively industrialized countries in Africa such as my country South Africa, and a handful of African Multinational Corporations, it shall be rejected by Africans, and deservedly so,” he added.

Noting the unprecedented challenge facing the global economy and the multilateral trading system, on which the global economy is anchored, the new Secretary General said the multilateral trading system is under severe strain, largely due to what appears to be an abandonment of the rules that underpin it.

“This strain on the multilateral trading system has the risk of reversing the modest gains that we have made in placing development at the centre of the multilateral trading system, since we launched the Doha Development Agenda in 2001,” he said, adding Africa’s response against this strain on the multilateral trading system must be to consolidate and advance our continental market integration objectives, through the AfCFTA.” Enditem


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