Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), April 15, 2021 – The Government of Burkina Faso, in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), launched Thursday in Ouagadougou, the work of the validation workshop for the National Strategy for the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for the country.
The validation of this strategy will provide Burkina Faso with a quality document for the implementation of the AfCFTA.
This national workshop to validate the provisional document of the National AfCFTA Implementation Strategy for Burkina Faso is one of the key actions of the project funded by the European Union: "Deepening Africa's trade integration through effective implementation of the AfCFTA to support economic integration”.
This meeting, which is being held in a context where African countries launched in July 2019 the first operational phase of the AfCFTA, aims to serve as a presentation framework for discussion and validation of the National Strategy for the Implementation of this Agreement for Burkina Faso.
For the Secretary General of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts of Burkina Faso, Mr. Aboubacar Traore “In order to take up this great challenge of the Agreement and derive the maximum benefits, Burkina Faso, which has made processing and consumption of local materials the basis of endogenous development, has, with the support of the ECA, undertaken to develop its National Strategy for the Omplementation of the AfCFTA”.
According to Mr. Aboubacar Traore, the proceedings of this workshop to validate Burkina Faso's National AfCFTA Implementation Strategy “should bring out the following elements: the identification of products with an advantage and target markets, the strengthening of the productive and commercial capacities of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) including the processing of local raw materials, clear measures to address commercial costs and lastly, institutional support for the implementation of the various protocols and appendices of the Agreement”.
As for the Head of European Union Cooperation in Burkina Faso, Ms. PALMERO VAQUERO Maria Pilar, she affirmed that “This is a long-standing commitment that is constantly reinforced during the various cycles of financial support and assistance from the EU”.
“The EU has supported the process since the start of the AfCFTA in 2015 and has so far allocated around 72 million euros to support the negotiations on the AfCFTA. Recently, a new allocation of 32 million euros was approved to support the process of continental integration”, declared Ms. PALMERO VAQUERO Maria Pilar.
“I would like to congratulate Burkina Faso on becoming one of the 36 countries to ratify the AfCFTA Agreement to date; and to present within the framework of the ECOWAS a common offer of tariffs and 5 priority service sectors. This shows the good understanding that the Government of Burkina Faso has of the relevance of being a signatory to the largest agreement in the world, in terms of the number of participating countries," concluded the Head of European Union Cooperation in Burkina Faso.
For his part, Mamoudou Sebego, Economist at the ECA, speaking on behalf of the Coordinator of the United Nations System in Burkina Faso, affirmed that “the entire United Nations System in Burkina Faso will work tirelessly, in collaboration with the 'European Union and other partners ready to accompany us, to allow Burkina Faso to take full advantage of the important economic and trade opportunities offered by the AfCFTA Agreement”.
This validation workshop, which will last two days, has seen the participation of member structures of the AfCFTA Negotiating Committee, the public structures directly concerned, professional and umbrella organisations, Parliament, the press, technical and financial partners, individual stakeholders in the private sector and experts from the ECA and the AUC.
For more information, please contact: Tahirou Gouro, Communications Officer, ECA-SRO/WA,
Sub-Regional Office for West Africa
428 Avenue du Fleuve Niger