Supporting the AfCFTA fisheries rules of origin for the AfCFTA Secretariat
Donors invest in intergovernmental negotiation projects, which are lengthy, expensive, and may lack inclusivity.
Consequences: the negotiations get bogged down and generate disinterest from the private sector, a challenge from civil society, and underutilization of the agreement by the concerned state, directly impacting the gains that are supposed to ensue.
We assist donor agencies in strengthening their relationship with the beneficiary through our proven approach based on negotiation engineering techniques for a participatory, informed, and paced solution.
The AfCFTA is a landmark agreement to create a single market for goods and services across Africa. One of the key challenges in implementing the AfCFTA is negotiating rules of origin, which determine the eligibility of products for preferential tariff treatment under the agreement. These rules ensure that the AfCFTA delivers tangible benefits for African countries and promotes sustainable and environmentally friendly trade.
Expertise France, an international donor, sought our support to facilitate the AfCFTA rules of origin negotiations, specifically on fisheries, which the AfCFTA Secretariat was coordinating. The primary challenge was to reach a consensus on the definition of the term « vessels » for origin determination purposes.
We acted as a linkage between Expertise France and the AfCFTA Secretariat, ensuring that aid for trade was directed where it was most needed and carrying out technical work with the beneficiaries to ensure meaningful results.
We worked closely with both Expertise France and the AfCFTA Secretariat to understand the complexities of the fisheries rules of origin negotiations and identify the specific issues that required resolution.
We participated in five rounds of informal consultations on fisheries rules of origin, offering technical advice and strategic guidance to the negotiating parties. Our input helped clarify the implications of different approaches to defining the term « vessels » and facilitated consensus-building among the parties.
Throughout the process, we maintained open communication channels with both Expertise France and the AfCFTA Secretariat, updating them on the progress of the negotiations and seeking their feedback on our approach.
After each round of consultations, we assessed the progress made and adjusted our strategy accordingly to ensure that the negotiations moved forward in a constructive manner.
This use case demonstrates the value and effectiveness of our intergovernmental trade negotiation engineering and facilitation services in the African context. By acting as a bridge between international donors and African governments, we ensure that aid for trade is directed where it is most needed and utilized effectively. Our expertise and tailored approach to the unique challenges of the African trade landscape enable us to facilitate successful negotiations and generate sustainable and environmentally friendly trade gains for the continent.
Our work with Expertise France and the AfCFTA Secretariat highlights our ability to provide technical assistance, strategic guidance, and stakeholder engagement throughout complex trade negotiations. By fostering trust and collaboration between donors and beneficiaries, we contribute to improved economic governance in Africa and help unlock the full potential of the AfCFTA for the benefit of all its member countries.
As international donors and African governments continue to work together to advance regional integration, development, and sustainable trade, our services can play a crucial role in ensuring that these efforts are effective and yield meaningful results. By partnering with us, donors and beneficiaries alike can be confident that they are making the best possible use of their resources and contributing to a brighter future for Africa.