African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

  • Tuesday 23 February 2021 08:00-09:30
  • Online
  • Organisation : CCIG, in collaboration with the Swiss-African Business Circle (SABC)

1st January 2021 marked the start of trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement, which brings together 54 out of the 55 African Union’s Member States. In terms of number of participating countries, the AfCFTA will be the world’s largest free trade area since the creation of the World Trade Organization, covering a market of 1.2 billion people, including a growing middle class and a combined gross domestic product of more than US$3.4 trillion.

Master project of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, the AfCFTA aims at creating a single market for goods and services, facilitating the movement of persons, promoting industrial development as well as sustainable and inclusive socio-economic growth. Estimates suggest that the AfCFTA has the potential both to boost intra-African trade by 52.3% by eliminating import duties and to double this trade if non-tariff barriers are also reduced. The pact is also expected to create jobs, empower women (who represent 70-80% of informal traders) and improve the competitiveness of African industries on the global stage.

After a short introduction about Swiss companies in Africa, the keynote speakers will present the main features of the Agreement and its foreseeable implications for the years to come.

Programme :

8:00 am

Welcome and introduction

Mr Vincent Subilia, Director General, CCIG

Mr Michael Rheinegger, Managing Director, SABC

8:15 am

African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

S. E. Mrs Siri Walt, Head of the Sub-Saharan Africa and Francophonie Division, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

Prof. Jaime de Melo, Honorary Professor, University of Geneva

Mrs Mena Hassan, PhD, Trade Policy and Trade Facilitation Expert, World Trade Organization

Mr Chido Munyati, Acting Head of Africa, Global Leadership Fellow & Africa Policy, World Economic Forum

9:15 am

Questions and answers 

9:30 am

End of the webinar

The event is free but the registration is mandatory. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the event will be via Zoom and the link will be sent to participants the day before the conference. 

Back to list