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Africa's Free Trade Economy

PAST EVENT
Roundtable
Council President's Club and leadership members are invited to engage in a private dialogue with Africa’s first Secretary-General of the AfCFTA, H.E. Wamkele Mene, on the landmark trade agreement and its global impact.
Parked trucks wait in 10km queue to cross the Kenyan-Ugandan border from the town of Busia
Mar
26
Reuters
Speakers
Wamkele Mene
Elizabeth Shackelford
Event Date

About This Event

Touted as an economic and globalization game-changer, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement marks the dawn of a new era for the largest free trade area in the world, representing a combined GDP of $3.4 trillion. The World Bank estimates the AfCFTA will foster intra-African trade, diversify and transform the continent’s economy, defend vital human rights goals, advance the competitiveness of African industries on the global stage, and potentially lift up to 30 million Africans out of extreme poverty. But the 55-nation pact comes at a time when much of the world is turning away from global cooperation and free trade. If fully implemented, how will the trade agreement shape the continent and international trade? Africa’s first Secretary-General of the AfCFTA, H.E. Wamkele Mene, joins Council President's Club and leadership members to examine the agreement and its impact.

About the Speakers
Wamkele Mene
Secretary-General, African Continental Free Trade Area
Wamkele Mene was elected as the first secretary general of the African Continental Free Trade Area in 2019 at the 33rd African Union Summit. Prior to being elected to this position, he served as South Africa’s chief negotiator for the AfCFTA. Mene also represented his country at the World Trade Organization.
Senior Fellow, US Foreign Policy
Council staff Elizabeth Shackelford
Elizabeth Shackelford, former career US diplomat, joined the Council in January 2021. Her work focuses on building awareness and understanding of a "restraint" approach to foreign policy, which seeks to limit the use of military force to the defense of core US national security interests and favors robust diplomatic engagement.
Council staff Elizabeth Shackelford