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The AUC and Ministers of Trade share the Report and Outcomes of the African Union Ministers of Trade Meeting with President Issoufou Mahamadou

June 20, 2017

The AUC and Ministers of Trade share the Report and Outcomes of the African Union Ministers of Trade Meeting with President Issoufou Mahamadou

Niamey, Niger – 16 June 2017 - The Third Meeting of the African Union Ministers of Trade (AMOT) co-organized by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Government of Niger was held from 15th – 16th June 2017 in Niamey. The purpose of the meeting was to consider recommendations of the Third Meeting of the African Union Committee of Senior Trade Officials (STOs) which was held on 12th – 14th June, 2017. The meeting was attended by Honorable Ministers of Trade and delegates from Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and observers from the African Development Bank (AfDB), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

To meet the Agenda 2063’s aspirations such as: ‘’A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development’’ and ‘’ An Africa, whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African people, especially its women and youth, and caring for children’’, the establishment of CFTA by the end of 2017 is imperative.

The preceding technical discussions paved the way for the AMOT to adopt the CFTA modalities framework for goods and services liberalization. For the liberalization of trade in goods, it was agreed to liberalize 90 per cent of tariff lines with flexibility accorded in the remaining 10 per cent for sensitive and excluded products. The African Union Ministers for Trade therefore, adopted the Modalities for Tariff Negotiations and directed the Commission in collaboration with UNECA and UNCTAD to undertake studies to determine the criteria for designating sensitive products, exclusion list as well as anti-concentration clause. Based on the results of the study the Continental Free Trade Area Negotiating Forum (CFTA-NF) shall negotiate the percentages of sensitive products, exclusion list and the related disciplines. The Ministers for Trade also approved the Modalities for Trade in Services Negotiations as recommended by the STOs. The African Union Ministers of Trade concluded their Meeting by approving the revised schedule of meetings for CFTA Negotiations to accommodate additional time requested by the CFTA-NF and the Technical Working Groups (TWGs) in order to complete their work on schedule.

At the end of the Meeting, the Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Amb. Albert M. Muchanga and Ministers of Trade, paid a courtesy call on the President of the Republic of Niger, H.E. Issoufou Mahamadou, Champion of the CFTA process, to share with him the Report and the Outcomes of the Meeting. The President of Niger will present the Progress Report on the CFTA to the July Summit scheduled for the 3-4 July 2017.

For more information, please contact: Mr. Prudence Sebahizi, Head of the CFTA Unit - Email: SebahiziP@africa-union.org

Media contacts:
Patient Atcho, Department of Trade and Industry – Tel: + 251 929335250 - Email: atchop@africa-union.org and Esther Azaa Tankou, Directorate of Information and Communication, AUC Tel. +251 911361185, E-mail: yamboue@africa-union.org/ esthertankou@yahoo.com
For further information: Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission I E-mail: DIC@african-union.org I Web Site: www.au.int I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia
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