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OPPORTUNITIES AMIDST ADVERSITIES -WHAT’S NEXT FOR AFCFTA?

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) in collaboration with Marketlink Consults Ltd, organised a Training Programme for NEPC Senior Officials on the ‘Preparedness of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council Towards the Implementation of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)’ on the 7th of October 2021 at Victoria Island, Lagos. The event was a platform for deliberating the role of trade that keeps the country’s economy strong and living standards high.

Prof Evans Osabuohien being one of the facilitators of the training, kicked off the session with a presentation titled “FROM PHASE 1 TO NEXT STEP OF AFCFTA: OPPORTUNITIES AMIDST ADVERSITIES FOR NIGERIA”.

In brief, Prof Evans Osabuohien’s presentation elaborated on the role of NEPC, which is to promote the development and diversification of export trade, assist in the development of export-related industries, and articulate the implementation of export policies and programmes in AfCFTA. He also pointed out how trade with other countries in Africa provides the goods and resources that a country cannot effectively produce. 

Prof Evans Osabuohien highlighted the significant challenges African countries face that need to be confronted, such as: rising insecurity and conflicts, weak institutional framework, transparency cum accountability issues, negative externalities, among others. He recommended a way forward of these challenges by saying the expectations and opportunities from AfCFTA require enabling environment for trade facilitation; encouraging investment; allowing upgrading and greater value addition. In his words, ‘we need stakeholder engagement, reward performance and punish non-performance, research & development, monitoring and evaluation’.

In conclusion, the roles of NEPC in promoting the development and diversification of export, assisting in promoting the development of export-related industries, spearheading the creation of appropriate export incentives, articulating and promoting the implementation of export policies and programmes in AFCFTA, and coordinating and monitoring export promotion activities, were articulated. 

The presentation is ONLINE FOR FREE.