Trade Law in Africa -The Africa Law Practice firms conclude 2021 AfCFTA Town Halls

Anthonia Ochei

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The international law firms Africa Law Practice in Nigeria and East Africa in partnership with Hook Tangaza, UK and the International Trade Centre (ITC), held a series of AfCFTA private and public sector engagements in their Town Hall series on the focal points for the success of the world’s largest free trade area agreement. Some of topics discussed by industry experts during the course of the Town Hall series included Market Opportunities and Policy Challenges and the Investment, Competition and E-Commerce Protocols respectively.

The Town Halls are designed to allow attendees from the private and public sectors to provide their insight and experiences on the implementation on the AfCFTA Agreement, success factors and industry engagement.

While discussing the ALP AfCFTA Town Halls, Solagbade Sogbetun, Partner, ALP NG & Co. said, “the Town Halls were a huge success gathering over 500 participants from 32 countries over a period of six months. We ensured that position papers/communiqué emanating from the deliberations were delivered to the AfCFTA Secretariat for consideration and action by the responsible parties”.

The speakers included Emily Njeri Mburu-Ndoria (Director, Directorate of Trade in Services Investment, AfCFTA Secretariat), Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh Senior Counsel, King & Spalding LLP (former Director, Trade in Services, World Trade Organisation), Dr. Muda Yusuf (Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry), Claire Akamanzi (CEO, Rwanda Development Board), Samallie Kiyingi (General Counsel, African Export-Import Bank), Tsotetsi Makong (Trade Facilitation Expert, The Trade Policy Training Centre in Africa), Sanyade Okoli (Chief Executive Officer, Alpha African Advisory), Dev Chamroo (Investment & Trade Consultant, International Trade Centre, Dr. Kamala Dawar (International Trade Centre Consultant, Senior Lecturer, International Trade & Competition Law, University of Sussex, UK), Akinwale Goodluck (Deputy Chief Executive Officer, AfricaNenda, Kenya), Sir Jonathan Faull (Acting Co-Head of Office, Brussels, Brunswick Group, Belgium) (former Director for Competition Policy, European Commission), Alexia Waweru (Legal Officer, COMESA Competition Commission, Malawi), Ron Kawamara (CEO, Jumia Uganda), Chenai Chair (Special Advisor, Africa Mradi Innovation, Mozilla, Foundation and Curator of My Data Rights (Africa)), Dr. Ify Ogo (Regional Coordinator Specialist (AfCFTA), United Nations Development Programme), Tola Onayemi (CEO, Norebase and former Assistant Chief Negotiator/Head of Trade Remedies, Nigeria).

In keeping with the law firms’ promise to be a leading resource for African trade, Mr. Olasupo Shasore SAN, Partner, ALP NG & Co. stated, “our common trade practices will continue to run these Town Halls in 2022 and beyond to ensure continued dialogue between the private and public sectors, policy makers and the AfCFTA Secretariat. Accordingly, we have launched our African trade website, www.alptrade.africa which provides information and resources on the AfCFTA in general and specifically the AfCFTA Agreement, Goods, Services, Digital Trade, Regional Trade Agreements among other topics”.

ALP Trade Africa is a pan-African team, which offers integrated legal, commercial solutions and research and advisory services on international and regional trade and investment.  Francis Gimara, Head, ALP East Africa and one of the key trade experts states, “we believe it is essential that discussions around the execution of the AfCFTA continue to take place and proper dissemination of relevant information occurs to ensure all interests are considered. We at ALP will continue to champion all forms of AfCFTA public sector engagement to guarantee the private sector’s input on the AfCFTA”.

Further information on the next town hall can be found on www.alptrade.africa

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