Conference on ‘Regional Integration in Africa’

On 26 October 2016, CUTS International, Lusaka collaborated with Caritas Zambia to host a trade conference on ‘Regional integration in Africa’. The discussions focused mainly on the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) and the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) and their implications on regional integration in Zambia. The motivation behind this conference was that on 17 June 2016, Zambia became the 17th country to sign the TFTA Agreement. The launch of the TFTA will build on the efforts being made to arrive at a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) by 2017. The CFTA is one of the key flagship initiatives under the African Union‘s Agenda 2063 designed to boost intra-African trade, consolidate African markets and reinforce regional integration. Party to SADC and COMESA FTAs, Zambia is a strong supporter of regional and multilateral trade reforms. It has committed to the COMESA and SADC Trade Protocols and the liberalisation schedules. Zambia is also host to COMESA and the TFTA Taskforce exemplifying its strong political commitment to the integration process.

The conference therefore : i) sought to identify common positions on the CFTA between the government, private sector and civil society, as the discussions on the CFTA gain momentum; and ii) contributed to the required analytical work of understanding Zambia positions and their implications in order to seek ways for maximising gains for Zambia from the trade initiative. Furthermore, the conference will enhance Zambia’s participation in the CFTA/TFTA framework.

The conference therefore sought to: