The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) participated in the sixth
African Union Ministers of Trade (AMOT) meeting in Senegal, which took place
on Sunday, 3 June 2018.
The meeting considered, among others, the
legally scrubbed annexes of the protocols to the Agreement establishing the
African Continental Free Trade Area (Caftan), the disciplines on the
modalities for tariff liberalisation, as well as the priority sectors for
trade in services.
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Bulelani Magwanishe, who
represented South Africa at the meeting, said the conclusion of the annexes
to the Protocol on Trade in Goods and the annexes to the Protocol on Dispute
Settlement was a significant achievement.
¡§The conclusion of this work enables South Africa to rapidly commence
domestic processes for signature of the AfCFTA (African Continental Free
¡§We must ensure that the disciplines on modalities for tariff liberation
support the creation of commercially meaningful value chains in Africa, such
that we attract investment in job creating productive sectors,¡¨ Deputy
Minister Magwanishe said.
In March, Pretoria held off on signing the actual agreement until legal and
other instruments associated with AfCFTA were processed and ratified by
South African stakeholders and Parliament.
The AU meeting was preceded by the 11th Meeting of the AfCFTA Negotiations
Forum and the Sixth Meeting of the AfCFTA Committee of Senior Officials of
Held in Dakar, the Sixth AMOT followed the launch of the Caftan during the
Extraordinary Summit of the AU Heads of State and Government, held on 21
March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda.
The summit resulted in the signing of the Caftan Agreement by 44 countries
and the signing of the Declaration establishing the Caftan by 43 countries.
To date, Kenya, Rwanda and Ghana have ratified the Caftan Agreement.
Meanwhile, the outcomes of the Sixth AMOT meeting will be submitted and
considered by the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government to be held in
Mauritania in July 2018.
AfCFTA offers an opportunity to create larger economies of scale, a bigger
market and improve the prospects of the African continent to attract
¡§South Africa is, therefore, committed to a coordinated strategy to boost
intra-Africa trade and to build an integrated market in Africa that will see
a market of over one billion people with a gross domestic product of
approximately US$3,3 trillion.
¡§Beyond the Tripartite Free Trade Area, AfCFTA will provide new export
opportunities for South African products in West Africa and North Africa,¡¨
said the dti.