the dti Hosts Economic Policy Dialogue to Unpack AfCFTA’s Bearing on South Africa

The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), in collaboration with the Western Cape Department of Finance and Economic Opportunities will host an Economic Policy Dialogue to unpack the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with the intention of exposing the Business community of the Western Cape to the new opportunities for South Africa, at an event that will take place in Cape Town on Friday, 13 March 2020. 

The AfCFTA was first conceptualised on January 2012 in Ethiopia after African leaders recognised that the promotion of intra-African trade was a fundamental factor for sustainable economic development, employment generation and effective integration of Africa into the global economy. It then entered into force on 30 May 2019, subsequent to twenty-four countries depositing their instruments of ratification. Currently 30 countries on the Continent have ratified this agreement, expanding the negotiating forum, and giving more credence to its overall philosophy, while reinforcing the regional integration rational.

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Fikile Majola, who will deliver a speech at the session, says that the hosting of the session will be driven by the intention to dissect the content of the AfCFTA and to expose its potential impact on the South Africa economy. The fact that South Africa is a member and signatory to this agreement, it becomes imperative that our business community has insight into its contents so that they should be best placed to participate and ultimately generate its economic benefits for the country. 

“This particular dialogue will zoom in on opportunities and challenges of the AfCFTA for South Africa and discuss its importance for the country’s industrial and overall economic development. Stakeholders from organised business, chief executive officers, academia, organised labour, government departments and civil society will all be in attendance to engage, interrogate and advance the economic and public policy view of the AfCFTA,” he says.

Majola adds that this dialogue will contribute towards an improved understanding of the role of the AfCFTA on South Africa while ensuring that there is collectively work to stimulate the economy and create employment through this agreement.  

“It is envisaged that once the AfCFTA is implemented in July this year, it will connect 1.2 billion people into a single economic bloc where products will be manufactured, bought and sold between countries, without any trade tariffs, and that it will lay the basis for increased intra-Africa trade,” says Majola.

Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Issued by: The Department of Trade and Industry
Follow us on Twitter: @the_dti

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