What We Do
The Secretariat is the administrative organ to coordinate the implementation of the AfCFTA. The Secretariat is responsible for convening meetings, monitoring and evaluating the implementation process and other duties assigned to it by the Committee of Senior Officials, Council of Ministers, and the AU Assembly.
How decisions are made
The Assembly of the AfCFTA is the AU Assembly consisting of all AU Heads of State and Government. It provides oversight and guidance on the AfCFTA. The Council of Ministers comprises Ministers for Trade of the State Parties. It will take decisions on all matters under the AfCFTA Agreement, and reports to the Assembly through the Executive Council of the AU. The AfCFTA Council of Minister is separate from the AU Ministers of Trade (AMOT). The Committee of Senior Trade Officials comprises Permanent Secretaries or other officials designated by State Parties. It is responsible for the development of programmes and action plans for the implementation of the AfCFTA Agreement.
The Protocols of the AfCFTA Agreement establish various technical committees to assist with the implementation of the Agreement. They include the Trade in Goods Committee and Trade in Services Committee.
The Assembly, as the highest decision-making organ of the AU, they have the exclusive authority to adopt interpretations of this Agreement on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers. The decision to adopt an interpretation shall be taken by consensus.
The Council of Ministers
- The Council of Ministers is hereby established and shall consist of the Ministers responsible for Trade or such other ministers, authorities, or officials duly designated by the State Parties. They report to the Assembly through the Executive Council.
- The Council of Ministers meet twice a year in ordinary session and may meet as and when necessary in extraordinary sessions.
- Decisions taken by the Council of Ministers, while acting within its mandate, shall be binding on State Parties. Decisions that have legal, structural or financial implications shall be binding on State Parties upon their adoption by the Assembly.
- The State Parties shall take such measures as are necessary to implement the decisions of the Council of Ministers.
The Committee of Senior Trade Officials
The Committee of Senior Trade Officials consist of Permanent or Principal Secretaries or other officials designated by each State Party.
- The committee is tasked to monitor and keep under constant review and ensure proper functioning and development of the AfCFTA in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement; etc
- Subject to directions given by the Council of Ministers, the Committee of Senior Trade Officials shall meet at least twice a year and shall operate in accordance with the rules of procedures as adopted by the Council of Ministers.
- The Committee shall submit its report, which may include recommendations, to the Council of Ministers following its meetings.
- The RECs shall be represented in the Committee of Senior Trade Officials, in an advisory capacity.