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  • ***NOTN launches Independent Study Report on The Potential Benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area on Nigeria. The report was compiled by a consortium of academics and research institutions *** AfCFTA News: Inputs autonomously decided and submitted by 11 Private Sector Stakeholders, can now be found on the AfCFTA Section of the NOTN website. Inputs are from: Association of Women Entrepreneurs (AWEP); National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMMA); Federation of South-South Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (Fossccima); Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASMEs); Nigerian Agri-Business Group (NABG); Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN); Digital Economy (Jumia); Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE); Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG); Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS); and Nigerian Proforce Defence Company *** AfCFTA News: the 5 Communiqués, adopted and signed in 5 geopolitical zones and the 1 Factual Summary co-signed by the President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and the DG NOTN, for the South-West Geopolitical Zone, can also be found on the AfCFTA Section on NOTN website *** South Africa, Sierra Leone, Lesotho, Burundi, and Namibia signs the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area at the 31st AU Summit while Eswatini and Chad deposited their instruments of ratification of the AfCFTA in Nouakchott, Mauritania *** As directed by the Presidency, the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations conducted a nationwide, sectoral and industry wide consultation and sensitization exercise on the African Continental Free Trade Area from the 15th of March to the 14th of June, 2018. ***

Nigerian Trade Team Heads to Kigali for CFTA Negotiations

After a successful outing in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in November 2016, led by Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, the Nigerian Negotiating team is departing for Kigali, Rwanda, today for another round of text-based negotiations in the Technical Working Groups (TWG) of the Negotiating Forum for the Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) The team consists of eight negotiators drawn from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the Ministry of Finance It has the mandate to engage colleagues from 53 other African nations on the emerging draft substantive text of the CFTA, being reviewed in the six TWGs Meetings will go on for 11 days and the team is expected to report back proceedings to the Federal Government of Nigeria Classically, negotiators are not decision makers. Decision making, at different levels, resides with Minister Enelamah, the Economic Management Team (EMT) and ultimately the Federal Executive Council (FEC) The Chief Negotiator Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe makes recommendations to Minister Enelamah, who reports to the EMT and FEC based on the commercial, investment, and geo-strategic interests of the Nigerian economy. Negotiators are also expected to send clear, succinct reports to the Chief Negotiator. The reports will identify problems, provide assessments and ask for instructions, where instructions are required. The Nigerian trade team will continue to argue for “flexibility” that allows it to safeguard the economy from a flood of imports, even as it remains an open economy. “These negotiations are a geo-strategic imperative because of Nigeria’s standing, position and leadership. Nigeria has a duty to provide leadership, inter alia, because the CFTA negotiations are based on a mandate from the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU),” said Dr. Enelamah He continued: “Increasing intra-African trade is crucial in a global economy that is turning protectionist. The CFTA negotiations provide a huge opportunity for economic growth and increased welfare in Africa, in a global economy in rapid but uncertain transformation. At the same time, we will continue to take into cognizance the complexities of our domestic market and ensure appropriate safeguards for the Nigerian Economy.” The AU has set a deadline of December 2017 for the adoption of the CFTA. However, experienced negotiators say it is a gruelling process and adoption therefore, will depend on how much progress is made Once concluded, the CFTA will enhance the movement of goods and services, boost trade facilitation and support the Presidential Initiative on the Ease of Doing Business within the 54-member block of the continent.