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AfCFTA : The Private Sector Needs More Certainty

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AfCFTA : The Private Sector Needs More Certainty

A technical workshop to encourage economic operators to enter the AfCFTA market

The private sector plays a key role in economic growth. However, entry into the African Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) presents challenges.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) represents a vast market spanning the African continent, aiming to gradually phase out customs duties. While Madagascar is among the 55 signatory countries, it’s yet to ratify the agreement due to lingering uncertainties among Malagasy economic players.

Heriniaina Ramananarivo, the national coordinator of the PA-AfCFTA, highlights the persistent doubts among Malagasy operators, chiefly driven by logistical challenges. These hurdles predominantly stem from inadequate road and port infrastructure. However, Madagascar isn’t alone in facing such obstacles. The United Nations underscores the imperative need to enhance the continent’s infrastructure, as echoed by the AfCFTA Business Forum.

Private sector representatives advocate for Madagascar to prioritize importing raw materials over finished products, leveraging the opportunities provided by free trade markets. The Ministry of Foreign Trade emphasizes the necessity of overcoming challenges such as infrastructure improvement, logistical services enhancement, bolstering production capabilities, promoting innovation, and investing in research and development to access the AfCFTA market.

To assuage private sector concerns, a workshop convened in late March 2024 in Ambohidahy aimed to encourage their participation in the market. The potential benefits touted include access to a larger market, diversification of export products, integration into value chains, fostering entrepreneurship, enhancing business culture, and streamlining trade processes.

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