The CFTA We Want – African Civil Society Demands at Africa Trade Week
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – African civil society organizations ask that space be created for citizens, workers, farmers, traders, producers, enterprises, civil society, private sector to participate effectively in negotiations toward a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) and to ensure the reflection of their concerns and views. They also made the following demands after discussing the challenges of Africa’s economic transformation and integration and role of the CFTA from 26 to 27 November 2016 in Addis Ababa under the umbrella of the Africa Trade Network. Information on the CFTA processes must be made available in a timely and accessible manner to citizens to enable their input and effective participation at national, regional, and continental levels.
The emerging focus of the CFTA on across the board tariff elimination and deregulation of services must be counter-balanced with more attention to industrial and other policies to build domestic productive capacity. Rather than fast-tracking the CFTA on its own, there must be proper sequencing of any liberalization measures with constructive policies to strengthen productive capabilities in African economies, build domestic enterprise and promote the rights and social protection of workers, farmers, traders, women and all other citizens