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Dec. 3, 2019 (DJIBOUTI, Djibouti): The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), H.E. Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, today addressed the participants of the Prosperity Africa Conference organised by Djibouti Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Djibouti.

The three-day conference is featuring panels of policy makers including national and regional business leaders as well as members of the diplomatic community residing in Djibouti to discuss the most important advantages, challenges and opportunities which will impact current trade and investment exchanges between African countries when the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) rules will take effect early in 2020.

During the opening session, which was attended by the Minister of Commerce of Djibouti, the President of the Chamber Commerce of Djibouti, the UN Development Programme Resident Representative and the World Bank Representative to Djibouti, Dr Workneh recognised and valued ‘the importance of putting the business community at the forefront for promoting intra-regional trade and investments in our region, to make the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)’.

The Executive Secretary touched on the IGAD initiatives that contribute to the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). They include the IGAD Regional Sustainable Tourism Master Plan, the Protocol of Free Movement of Persons, the Ware House Receipt System, and Industrialization and Value Addition.

‘All of which are vital policy tools to facilitate trade and make integration a reality’, he said before adding that ‘IGAD also works with stakeholders to eliminate all forms of Non-Tariff Barriers and Non-Tariff Measures which contribute to the high cost of doing business in our region’.

‘One of the initiatives being worked on by IGAD to support the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and Boosting Intra-African Trade (BIAT) include developing the IGAD Regional Infrastructure Master Plan to improve inter-connectivity and enable regional integration’, he said before concluding and leaving the floor for the Minister of Commerce of Djibouti.

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