Preceding the Extra-ordinary Summit in Kigali which held in March 2018, the African Union (AU) had organized a Business Forum on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). During the forum, the business community pledged its support for the AfCFTA while some African leaders pledged their political will to engage the private sector in the implementation of the AfCFTA. However, in spite of these promises, it appears from all indications that the African private sector is either kept at the back door or yet to be given a pride of place in the AfCFTA process. It would be recalled that the CFTA negotiation process gave rise to an Implementation Framework Agreement recently signed on to in Kigali – Rwanda by as many as 44 member countries of the African Union (AU) on the 21st March 2018. But the provisions of Article 9 (Part III) of the Framework establishing of the AfCFTA, which neglected or omitted the composition and role for the private sector is a bold testimony to the fact that indeed the negotiation has been conducted and concluded as if the business community matters less, not only in the Continental Trade Agreement but also in terms of overall development of the continent.
8 lessons on the Imperatives of a Private Sector driven AfCFTA