Seychelles hails the AfCFTA as a huge market opportunity for the Blue Economy in Africa | 09 July 2019
Health Minister Jean-Paul Adam has hailed the launch of the operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as creating a huge market opportunity for the development of the Blue Economy in Africa.
Minister Adam, a former Minister for Foreign Affairs, was representing President Danny Faure, as the champion of the Blue Economy, at the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union, in Niamey, Niger on July 7, 2019.
Heads of State met to celebrate the first anniversary of signing of the AfCFTA agreement. They launched the operational phase of the African Internal Market and decided on Ghana to be the host of the AfCFTA secretariat.
The agreement came into force on May 30, 2019 after the required minimum was reached for ratification.
Seychelles joined 43 other African countries in Kigali on March 21, 2018 when the AfCFTA agreement was first signed, but is yet to ratify it.
A number of outstanding issues in Phase 1, critical to the Seychelles economy, are still being negotiated. Minister Adam referred to these as being the rules of origin with respect to fisheries products and called for a speedy finalisation of the discussions, to allow for many more ratifications.
A host of other facilities were also launched, including the portal on monitoring, reporting and eliminating of non-tariff barriers, the digital payments system, and the African Trade Observatory Dashboard.