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ECOWAS Experts Meet to Consider Draft Offer on Trade in Services for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)



The ECOWAS Commission organized the Seventh (7th) Regional Meeting on the draft ECOWAS Offer, from April 25 to 27, 2022, on the Protocol on Trade in Services within the framework of the Continental Free Trade Area African (AfCFTA).

Before declaring the meeting open, the Director of Bilateral, Regional and Multilateral Trade of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Ghana, Mr. Mickson OPOKU, expressed his gratitude to the ECOWAS Commission for its support in the development of the capacity of the Member States to effectively negotiate Trade in Services. He highlighted the fundamental role of the services sector for the development of national and regional economies, and urged the participants to work hard to finalize their offers taking into account the expectations of their respective countries and the general objectives of the region.

On behalf of Mr. Tèi KONZI, ECOWAS Trade, Customs and Free Circulation Commissioner, Mr. Kolawole SOFOLA, Acting Director of Trade, highlighted the support provided by the ECOWAS Commission to its member States, such as technical assistance and capacity building, to ensure that their Offer projects in the five (5) priority Sectors of Trade in Services are in accordance with the negotiation modalities, as well as guarantee that the regional acquis is preserved.

Mr Desiree LOUMOU, Lead Expert – Trade in Services at the AfCFTA Secretariat, on behalf of Ms Emily MBURU, Director of Trade in Services at the AfCFTA Secretariat, commended the ECOWAS Commission and its Member States for their active participation in the negotiation process. , and to present their Initial Offers in the five (5) priority Sectors of Trade in Services. She reiterated the AfCFTA Secretariat’s commitment to support African Union (AU) member states, including ECOWAS, in finalizing their offers.

The 7th Regional Meeting reviewed the draft ECOWAS Offer for the AfCFTA trade in services negotiations and held bilateral sessions between the ECOWAS Commission and Member States to address the various technical issues to ensure they comply with the agreed modalities and guidelines. of the AfCFTA negotiations, as well as considering requests from third parties.

The meeting was attended by experts on trade in services from ECOWAS Member States and Mauritania; Officials of the ECOWAS and WAEMU Commissions; and representatives of the AfCFTA Secretariat.

Forty-two (42) African countries are now State Parties to the AfCFTA Agreement. Forty (40) state parties and seven (7) non-state parties have submitted bids. The five (5) priority sectors of Trade in Services are Business Services; Communication services; Financial services; services relating to tourism and travel; and Transportation Services.

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