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Progress Made in Over 40 countries and RECs on AfCFTA National and Regional Strategies

Dakar, Senegal, 12 May, 2022 (ECA) – The ECA’s Sub-Regional Offices (SROs) worked with more than 40 Member States and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in 2021 on implementing national and regional strategies for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

The Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), Economic Community of Central Africa States (ECCAS) and the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) were all supported by ECA Sub-regional Offices (SROs) to actualize the frameworks of the AfCFTA as well as regional goals.

This was highlighted by Director of the Sub-Regional Office for East Africa, Mama Keita, on the second day of the ongoing 54th Session of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (CoM2022) in Dakar, Senegal.

Presenting a report on behalf of the Intergovernmental Committees of Senior Officials and Experts, which govern the work of the five SROs, Ms. Keita said SROs “were also able to offer technical assistance, advisory services, training and analytical tools to governments and Regional Economic Communities (RECs)” on the AfCFTA which is a cross-regional priority.

In a related development, the Director of the African Institute for Development and Economic Planning (IDEP), Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane, noted that efforts towards implementing priorities such as the AfFCFTA will need to be sustained with the support of “the human and institutional capacities in the Member States”.

She added that in order to build national capacities, the ECA instituted the “Young Economists Network (ECA-YEN) which will provide the necessary capacities to support countries in macroeconomic modelling and also launch research programmes in country”.

Currently, ECA-YEN brings together nearly a thousand young economists and 88 universities in 21 countries who are working to bridge the gap between academia and decision-making in Member States.

Representatives of Member States acknowledged and commended the support of the SROs and IDEP and reiterated their commitment to working with ECA to on regional and national priorities.

The annual Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (CoM) is the ECA’s largest annual event and provides an opportunity for participants to debate key issues on Africa’s development, and to discuss the think tank’s performance in delivering on its mandate.

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