The AfCFTA Secretariat says it remains confident that its strategic partnerships and alliances with similar minded institutions will help fast-track the delivery of its core mandate of facilitating seamless intra-Africa trade.
“We can’t deliver this mandate on our own; the reality of it is that we depend on strategic partners and stakeholders who have been kind enough to say we want to walk the journey with the Secretariat to enable us deliver on this mandate.
If you are going to talk about trade, then you’re also going to talk around trade financing and the assistance that institutions like Afreximbank could give to those who need to benefit to unlock this agreement for it to be practical,” said its principal communications advisor, Ms. Grace Khoza.
Aside the financial institutions such as the Afreximbank, she said the Secretariat signed partnerships with other strategic institutions that share in the mandate of driving continental trade.
“The good thing is that we’re looking for partners who understand the mandate and can really get themselves involved with us to get this done for the continent. We are looking for like-minded partners who will help us to achieve that mandate that’s been given to us,” she added.
According to Ms. Khoza, the three things that the Secretariat looks out for in their partnerships are the shared values, if they operate on the African continent which is the crux of the AfCFTA mandate and people who are ready for shared benefits under the agreement.
“So, we’ve got those partnerships that are really strong and have helped the organization to deliver the mandate that has been given to us.”
Per her assessment, the year has been very impactful thus far with the launch of the cross-border digital payments infrastructure, the level of negotiations and agreements on various protocols and the willingness of key actors to see the start of trade.
“The most impactful thing this year for this organization is that we really thought to be the year to make changes and ensure that trading under AfCFTA commences as the people of the continent become more impatient without any tangibles.
Right at the beginning of the year, we had the launch of PAPSS which showed us, as an organization, that it was going to be an activation year by taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity that’s been given to us by this continent,” she noted.