UNECA - United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

12/02/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/03/2021 12:35

Namibia stands to benefit from the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement

Windhoek, Namibia 2 December 2021 -(MIT, AUC & ECA) - The Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade in collaboration with the Economic Commission for Africa's African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) and Subregional Office for Southern Africa (SRO-SA) organized a Validation Workshop on Namibia's Strategy on the Implementation of AfCFTA on 2 - 3 December 2021 at Safari Hotel, Windhoek, Namibia, preceded by a media sensitization workshop on December 1, 2021, at the same venue.

Speaking while officially opening the validation meeting, Namibia's Deputy Minister of Industrialisation and Trade, Hon. Verna Sinimbo noted that the government was cognizant of the great potential in fully implementing the AfCFTA.

"We believe and anticipate significant opportunities will emanate from the implementation of the AfCFTA Agreement and this will lead to a positive transformation of many African economies and as such, Namibia should prepare in order to take full advantage of the opportunities that the Agreement will bring", Hon. Sinimbo emphasised.

The Deputy Minister advised that Continental Free Trade Area will bring larger market access, improved competitiveness, improved production capacities, improved living standards and the possibility of creating employment.

However, Hon. Sinimbo acknowledged that such benefits not be automatic. Member States have to develop National Programmes of Action to harness the benefits of the AfCFTA.

Speaking at the same event, Director for Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Subregional Office for Southern Africa Ms Eunice Kamwendo said that the United Nations in Namibia continues to partner with the Government in the implementation of many socio-economic activities including supporting the implementation of the AfCFTA through active contribution to the review of the Draft national AfCFTA Strategy.

She emphasized that ECA remains committed to supporting national development efforts. She further outlined the recent support to Namibia which include through the Socio-Economic Response Plan (SERP) to COVID-19, a key input towards addressing the impacts of the pandemic and through the organization of a consultative forum for AfCFTA Protocol on Women in trade, UN system in Namibia also recently supported the National Planning Commission to convene a Capacity Building Workshop for Government Officials on "Strengthening AfCFTA Implementation for the SDGs and Trade Policy Development in Namibia.

She advised that Namibia is set to benefit from the AfCFTA through economic diversification and value chains development, the key drivers of industrialization adding that the country has immense potential to penetrate regional markets and be a key player in continental integration through exploiting the benefits of the AfCFTA" Ms Kamwendo added.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), Ms Charity Mwiya advised that the AfCFTA is expected to enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level through the exploitation of opportunities for scale production, continental market access, and better allocation of resources. "However, all those will just remain theories if the parties to this agreement do not find ways to implement the agreement" she emphasised.

"It has been agreed that at the national level, it will be critical to have an AfCFTA strategy and dedicated institutional arrangements in place to anchor implementation and fully utilize the opportunities of the implementation of the agreement. The strategy will assist State Parties with domesticating implementation" Ms Mwiya added.

In his statement, Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade, Executive Director, Mr Sikongo Haihambo underscored that the AfCFTA National Strategy will enable Namibia to tap into the opportunities provided by the Agreement through its effective implementation by all stakeholders, particularly, the private sector, non-state actors as well as the public at large.

The two-day validation meeting reviewed the draft national AfCFTA strategy and implementation plan and provided recommendations to further improve the national strategy and implementation plan. The private sector, civil society organizations, youth groups, academia, micro small and medium enterprises, associations of women in business, the umbrella private sector business organizations, representatives of parastatals and other ministries among others were in attendance.

Issued by:

The Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa
UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
P.O. Box 30647, Lusaka, Zambia.

Media Contacts:
Mr Bedson Nyoni
Senior Information Management Assistant
Economic Commission for Africa Office for Southern Africa (ECA-SA)
Cell: +260 97 784 5948
Email: [email protected] / [email protected]

Mr Andreas Andjene
Chief Trade Promotion Officer
The Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade
Cell: +264 85 371 8444
Email:[email protected]