The agreement has the potential to boost intra-African trade by 52.3 per cent by eliminating import duties, and to double this trade if non-tariff barriers are also reduced. 10 December 2019 – The Tana Forum Secretariat, based at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) at Addis Ababa University, is pleased to officially announce the 9th edition of the Tana Forum. Scheduled to take place on 24-26 April 2020 in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, the forum will explore the theme: “The AfCFTA: A Milestone for Pan-Africanism and Conflict Transformation”.
On January 2012, the 18th AU Summit confirmed the decision to embark on the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) by 2017. The AfCFTA agreement was adopted and opened for signature in March 2018 and entered into force on 30 May 2019.
The AfCFTA brings together 55 African economies, forming the world’s largest trading area with a gross domestic product worth USD $3.4 trillion and a population of more than one billion people. The agreement has the potential to boost intra-African trade by 52.3 per cent by eliminating import duties, and to double this trade if non-tariff barriers are also reduced.
Michelle Ndiaye, Director of the Africa Peace and Security Programme (APSP) at IPSS and Head of the Tana Forum Secretariat, described the Tana Forum as a “trendsetter for conversations on Africa by Africans and partners.” This year’s theme, she added, “reaffirms the historic step taken by the continent’s leaders to end conflict by working towards a stronger, committed, and more fully integrated Africa.”
The agreement places value on the Pan-African ideals of a collective identity and integrated development. The goal of deepening economic integration requires the free movement of people. The 1991 Abuja Treaty, Agenda 2063 and the Free Movement Protocol among other decisions and instruments of the African Union, recognize the free movement of people as a step towards continental integration. Its objective to create the conditions where goods and services can be freely exchanged impacts the state of peace and security on the continent.
Dr. Yonas Adaye Adeto, Director of IPSS, said “the Forum is an opportunity to epitomize Pan-African ideals to address the contemporary peace and security challenges in our continent.”
About the Forum
The Tana Forum is an independent initiative that seeks to provide an informal platform for African Heads of State and Government to engage in open and frank discussions with a wide spectrum of non-state stakeholders on the most pressing peace and security issues confronting the continent.
Meeting annually on the shores of Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile, the Forum uses a distinctive approach to discuss security issues on the continent. The baobab tree, depicted in the Forum logo, symbolizes the African tradition of gathering decision-makers in a spirit of commonality and moral duty.
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