The Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA) has organized a policy dialogue forum titled “What Does Ethiopia Gain and Lose from African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)?”.
The main objective of the policy dialogue was to discuss on the challenges and opportunities of AFCFTA. A total of 45 participants comprising policy makers, private sectors, CSOs, research institutions, universities, regional organizations and other stakeholders have attended the discussion. The outputs of the discussion would help the country to identify the befits and costs of AfCFTA agreement in promoting the country’s economy and put the way how it should create profound economic benefit out of the free trade area.
Prof Mengistu Ketema, Chief executive Officer (CEO) of the EEA, has made an opening remark. In his remark, Mengistu has extended his appreciation to the two speakers (Mr. Mussie Mindaye and Mr Kibur Gena) for accepting EEA’s invitation to speak on this very timely regional trade platform. Furthermore, Mengistu has also requested the participants to actively participate during the discussion so that the recommendations enable the government to understand the impact of such multilateral economic integration.
Mr. Mussie Mindaye, Director General for Intranational Trade and Regional Integration at Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration has presented a paper on “What Does Ethiopia Gain and Lose from African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)?”. In this presentation, Musie has emphasized on the various trade agreements, key areas of negotiations, preparedness of the country and potential gains and losses from the agreement. Mr. Kibur Gena has also spoken on the challenges and opportunities of AfCFTA. In his speech, Mr Kibur addressed the infrastructural challenges, alignment of AfCFTA with other trade agreements, difference in economic development and the need for solidarity to narrow the gap and to prevail fair trade among members of the agreement, the need for harmonization among the different regional economic units, differential in productivity capacity and and competitiveness.
Following the presentations, participants were given the chance to raise questions to be addressed. The discussion was chaired by Dr. Semeneh Bessie, Partnership and Communication Director of the EEA. Dr. Degye Goshu, Director of Research and Policy Analysis of the EEA, has made concluding remarks and closing speech. Dr. Degye thanked open society initiative for Eastern Africa, and all individuals and institutions who contributed to the successful preparation of the forum. He also promised EEA’s commitment to organize similar events in the future.