24 November 2023 12:00 — 14:30Register now
Private sector engagement, SMEs inclusivity and regional value chains development under the AfCFTA
On 24 November from 12h00-14h30 CET (14h00-16h30 UTC), ECDPM, together with the Policy Center for the New South, African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) organised a high-level seminar 'Private sector Engagement, SMEs inclusivity and regional value chains development under the AfCFTA'.
The objective of this high-level seminar is to connect policymakers and experts with practical insights and substantial input co-produced by a core group of African and European policy institutes and to bring together experts from European and African countries to tackle the following key questions:
1 - What specific gaps and obstacles do private sector stakeholders identify as barriers to their full engagement in the AfCFTA process? What key actors are best positioned to address these challenges within the AfCFTA framework?
2 - What incentives and policies should be implemented to encourage the private sector's proactive involvement in the AfCFTA?
3 - What specific challenges do SMEs encounter within the African business and trade environment? How can the AfCFTA framework be structured to ensure that SMEs inclusivity? And how does the empowerment of SMEs contribute strategically to fostering the integration into Regional Value Chains (RVCs) envisioned by the AfCFTA?
4 - How can AfCFTA be strategically leveraged to foster the expansion and deepening of existing RVCs while simultaneously offering an allowing environment for the formation of new and dynamic value chains?
14:00 – 14:30
H.E. Mr. Roland Kobia, Ambassador of the European Union to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the African Union
H.E. Mrs. Nezha Alaoui M’hammdi, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; Senior Fellow, Policy Center for the New South
Francis Mangeni, Representative of His Excellency the Secretary General of the AfCFTA
14h30 – 14h45
Presentation of key messages from the expert workshop on 23 November on AfCFTA Investment Protocol: Unlocking Investment Opportunities within the African Continent
George Boateng, Senior Policy Analyst at African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET)
14h45 – 16h15
Panel discussion on how to empower the African private sector and SMEs within the AfCFTA and how to strengthen regional value chains in Africa
Moderator: Bruce Byiers, Head of African Economic Integration, ECDPM
Larabi Jaïdi, Senior Fellow, Policy Center for the New South (PCNS)
Wincate Muthini, Senior Programme Manager, Pan African Chambers of Commerce and Industry (PACCI)
Stephen Karangizi, Former Director and CEO African Legal Support Facility and Former Deputy Secretary General (Programmes) for COMESA
Dirk Willem te Velde, Director, Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
16:15 – 16:30
Concluding Remarks: Thomas Huyghebaert, Head of Policy and Cooperation, EU Delegation to the AU
Watch the recording
Follow up event
On 1st december, ECDPM, together with the Policy Center for the New South, African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) organised a follow-up InfoPoint session, titled 'Private sector engagement under the African Continental Free Trade Area'. Find more information and a recording of the session here.