22 January 2021
Breaking News
Monday, 09 September 2019 05:47

Malawi to host AfCFTA sensitization workshop

Written by 

Lilongwe, September 9: Malawi will this month (September) host a sensitization workshop that will bring together all trade stakeholders as it pushes to have the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement ratified.

The workshop, slated for September 17 (2019) in Lilongwe, is aimed at raising awareness on the pros and cons of the treaty with the hope of clearing issues that have delayed the ratification process.

According to Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism Spokesperson, Mayeso Msokera, critical aspects of the AfCFTA Agreement are still outstanding.

She cited Rules of Origin under the Protocol on Trade and Negotiations being in progress as parties develop and submit their lists of product-specific rules of origin.

“Malawi wants to ratify AfCFTA when critical aspects such as those indicated above are negotiated and this will allow us to submit complete sets of documents according to our legal procedures.

“The private sector needs to be oriented on the pros and cons. So, we have lined up sensitization workshops for stakeholders together with United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) on 17th September to make them understand more.

“From there, we hope the private sector would have understood and let us proceed to ratify the agreement,” he said.

Although he could not commit himself on the time for ratification, Msokera said what remains is to get a nod from the private sector after the orientation is done.

“For example, if the private sector recommends that we proceed to ratify, immediately the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism together with Ministry of Justice, would commence putting in place documents for ratification.

“Ratification will be done when we have complete sets of documents since negotiations are not concluded.  Once finalized, Malawi will ratify according to our legal procedures required in ratification,” Msokera said.

In a recent commentary after AfCFTA achieved the required number of countries for ratification, Director of Trade and Customs at COMESA, Francis Mangeni said even though the process has some outstanding issues, a lot of successes have been registered.

“Rules of origin and tariff negotiations need to be completed. Tariff schedules should be produced. A mechanism for addressing non-tariff barriers is also required. Some Regulations and Guidelines are also needed in areas such as infant industries and export processing zones,” he said.
Malawi signed the AfCFTA on March 21, 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda.

The agreement entered into force on May 20, 2019 when the threshold of 22 countries from the 54 that signed, ratified the agreement while its operational phase began on July 7, 2019.

Features

FISD the heart of life changing innovations

FISD the heart of life changing innovations

Lilongwe, November 6, 2020: Construction, solar and Irrigation, ground water exploration and drilling, mining, finance for agriculture development are the main five pivotal strategic units FISD has managed to change many lives for the better. “Multitudes of peoplefrom the rural community have all r...

Learning amidst Covid-19

Learning amidst Covid-19

Mchinji, October 28, 2020: Rose is a 16 year old girl in Mangochi in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Chimwala. She is quite an ambitious girl, she wants to be a nurse when she completes her studies. Being the first born in a family of three, she is a rose in her family as her mother believe...

Lilongwe communities correcting environmental wrongs

Lilongwe communities correcting environmental wrongs

Lilongwe, October 18, 2020:  Some communities in the country's capital, Lilongwe have realized the folly of wanton cutting down of trees, and are now putting things right. The locals in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Masumbankhunda are paying the price of their actions that have left them m...