The President of ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, has said that the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) remains critical to a fully integrated single continental market for goods and services and sustainable growth of Sub-Saharan Africa’s economies. At the opening of a virtual workshop held Tuesday, Brou, who was represented by the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Trade, Customs and Free Movement Mr. Tei Konzi, hinted that ECOWAS, in line with Article 85 of the Revised ECOWAS Treaty and the ECOWAS Summit directives, had continued to play its role of coordinating the positions of ECOWAS member-states for engagement with other parties in the AfCFTA negotiations.
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He said, the AfCFTA has an ambitious coverage with a multi-sectorial reach that requires the inputs of experts in various discipline adding that the main objective of the workshop was to “to improve our understanding of the AfCFTA within ECOWAS in order to enable ECOWAS institutions and specialised agencies to better contribute to the negotiations and implementation of the agreement. “This inclusive approach will allow all institutions and agencies in the regional community to take participate and contribute to the negotiation and implementation of the continental agreement in line with the spirit and letter of Revised ECOWAS Treaty and the directives of the ECOWAS Summit.”
He also expressed optimism that the consensus derived from the deliberations will result in the growth of trade in the region and on the continent. The Acting Director, Trade, ECOWAS Commission Mr. Kolawole Sofola, also gave an overview of the AfCFTA while presenting details about its different phases and state of play.