Cameroon is in the process of developing its national African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Strategy through an awareness and information sharing workshop jointly organized by the Cameroonian Government and the UN Economic Commission for Africa.
More than one hundred stakeholders from the private sector, academia and civil society are associated with this first-of-its-kind workshop in Yaounde in order to formulate practical recommendations for the State and its partners with regards to leveraging the opportunities offered by the creation of a continent-wide free trade area.
Issues relating to Cameroon’s current state of preparedness for the entry into force of the AfCFTA as well as possible spinoffs and fallouts for the subregion, particularly with regard to the effective harmonization of ECCAS and CEMAC preferential tariffs will be specifically addressed. Cameroon’s preparation for the second round of the AfCFTA negotiations will also be at the heart of the exchanges, with particular emphasis on competition issues, intellectual property and investment.
This national consultation, which takes place a few days after the threshold of 22 ratifications, the minimum necessary for the AfCFTA to roll into play, was reached with the ratification of the Gambia, has the three-fold objective of clearly unpacking the AfCFTA agreement, clarifying the stakes for Cameroon and mobilizing national actors around its effective implementation.
African countries party to the AfCFTA Agreement, commit to eliminate tariffs on 90% of the goods they produce destined for other African markets.
In this context, intra-African trade is likely to increase by 52.3% by 2020 and attract to Cameroon, a large flow of investments and opportunities, especially for certain products such as coffee, tea, banana, pepper, refined oils, soap, brewery products, cement, as well as other manufactured and semi-finished goods.