African Private Sector calls for WTO reform

Africa's private sector slams the World Trade Organisation for unfair trading terms for African countries.


Africa’s private sector slammed the World Trade Organisation for unfair trading terms for African countries in a statement issued on the sidelines of the PAFTRAC Virtual Summit on Thursday.

“It is widely agreed that the current global trading system works in a constraining fashion for Africa, penalising the continent in terms of its growth and development,” the statement read.

An extensive survey conducted on African CEOs by the Pan-African Private Sector Trade and Investment Committee found that 86.1% of CEOs believed that the global trading system was unfair or at best neutral towards Africa.

“Ignoring the voice of Africa and other emerging economies will have dramatic consequences for the WTO and the rules-based system at a time when multilateralism is fading,” PAFTRAC said on Thursday.  

The lobby is calling for “greater transparency in terms of rules and regulations, and greater access to capital and foreign exchange.”

“PAFTRAC calls on WTO to afford African countries Special and Differential Treatment that will allow flexibilities and sufficient policy space to support local industries and advance development,” the statement says.

As the race heats up for the next WTO director-general, Africa’s private sector is rallying behind African candidates to bring the reforms needed to make the global trading system more inclusive, it says.  

“PAFTRAC will support the new Director General in whichever way he or she may deem fit: Africa will do its share and we hope that the WTO and its members will reciprocate this goodwill.”


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