Africa launches its own tripartite Business Council.
Business Councils operating in East, Central and Southern African Regions have established the African Tripartite Business Council which is setting sail.
After its launch in Kigali, Rwanda, the new African Business Council is setting out to address the continent’s over dependence on imports.
The African Tripartite Business Council is made up of the East African Business Council, Southern African Development Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.
Through the ATBC, the three parties, SADC, EABC and COMESA are spearheading the inclusion of private sector policy proposals into the negotiations of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement and the African Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA).
It is among the resolutions from the Consultative Meeting of Regional Business Councils on the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement organized by the East African Business Council with support from TradeMark East Africa.
“African Tripartite Business Council puts forward joint private sector policy positions to the AfCFTA Secretariat in Ghana and Tripartite Ministerial Council Meetings in order to accelerate the implementation of the Agreements,” says John Bosco Kalisa, the EABC Executive.
It now remains for the East African Community and SADC to ratify the Tripartite Free Trade Area to achieve the threshold of 14 ratifications required enabling the Agreement to enter into force.
“It is important for the private sector to be knowledgeable of the trade instruments of Rules of Origin, Standards and Dispute Settlement Mechanism under the AfCFTA” Dickson Poloji, the COMESA Business Council Executive said,
He elaborated that the implementation committees of the AfCFTA should be co-chaired by the private sector.
“The African Tripartite Business Council will improve coordination and development of positions on AfTCFA policy formulation and negotiations,” Peter Varndell the SADC Business Council Executive.
On her part, Nadia Uwamahoro, the Managing Director, Data Systems, urged for the finalization of the AfCFTA protocol on digital trade to promote youths and the emergence of African-owned e-commerce platforms.
The Head of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Sub-regional Office for Eastern Africa Rodgers Mukwaya, points out that pandemics and the Ukraine crisis have disrupted global supply chains.
“As a result, firms and nations are moving away from global to domestic and regional supply chains. We have to leverage the AfCFTA to create regional value chains,” he said.
Angelo Lado Gore, the General Manager of South Sudan Chamber of Commerce, said his country has the potential to be an agriculture hub and change the country’s narrative of oil dependence and conflicts.
Victor Ogola, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Apex organization of the private sector in Kenya (KEPSA) said East Africa losses USD 500 million each year due to counterfeits and illicit trade.