Activity: Centre for Trade and Policy Development (CTPD) Zambia, with support from Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) Lusaka, hosted a national consultative meeting aimed at enhancing SADC Non-State Actors’ participation in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) process.
The objectives of this meeting were:
- Understand constraints faced by NSAs hindering effective participation in CFTA
- Strengthen the capacity of NSAs to participate and influence the CFTA implementation process
- Facilitate national, regional and continental engagement platforms.
- NSAs to engage in CFTA
The discussions highlighted the role of NSAs as very important in implementing AfCFTA and that more consultation of NSAs was important. It was noted that most NSAs are left out in the National Development coordinating Committee structures. It was further established that going forward, and it was cardinal to develop structures that incorporated Non-state actors.
Improving the effectiveness of NSAs contributions at the policy level requires strengthening their capacity to participate in forums and meetings of SADC effectively. NSAs also lack the resources to participate effectively and contribute to the regional interrelation agenda and engage with the SADC Secretariat, national and regional contact points.
The SADC national committee in Zambia needs to be supported as a stand-alone structure for NSA engagement at the national level. All stakeholders must be represented to influence input in implementing the regional policies and strategies.
A follow-up presentation highlighted the Overview of Regional and Continental Integration in Africa. He noted that Zambia’s challenges in Integration are:
- Policy Inconsistency
- Low Industrialisation
- Lack of Coordination at various levels