Following the directive by the African Union Ministers responsible for Trade meeting that took place from 15th to 16th June 2017 in Niamey, Niger, the CFTA Unit organized the 1st phase of the training for Member States and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to simulate the impact of trade policy reforms on: import and export values, tariff revenues, prices, production and employment, and welfare.
This training is essential to give a level of comfort to AU Member States to undertake liberalization that will boost intra-African trade and allow them to make informed decisions in terms of which sectors to liberalize immediately, in the medium and longer term and what policy reforms they need to take in terms of CFTA negotiations in trade in goods as well as complementary policies to minimize adjustment costs while reaping maximum benefits.
Mr. Prudence Sebahizi, the Chief Technical Advisor on the CFTA and Head of CFTA Negotiations Support Unit in his opening remarks recalled the adoption of the CFTA modalities for tariff liberalization by the African Union Ministers responsible for Trade during their 3rd meeting that took place from 15 – 16 June 2017, in Niamey, Niger. “This training is intended to enable Member States prepare tariff offers based on the agreed level of ambition”, he recalled.
The training is expected to increase knowledge of the underlying conceptual framework of TRIST which will allow the participants to prepare and structure import data of their countries to conduct simulation exercises. In addition, the training will provide knowledge to participants to design complex tariff change scenarios, conduct simulations and interpret the simulation results.
The result of the training will have an impact on Africa’s ability to trade with itself as well as enhancing regional integration that can bring Africa’s economic transformation to accelerate the implementation of Agenda 2063. The training was facilitated by Mr. Guillermo Carlos Arenas, Trade and Competitiveness Expert from the World Bank.
The second phase of the Training is scheduled to take place in mid-September, in Nairobi, Kenya. Officials from Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Ghana, Mauritius, Madagascar, Namibia, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Regional Economic Communities (EAC and IGAD) attended this first phase of TRIST Training.
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