International development partners are holding a series of consultative meetings in Nairobi, Kenya to initiate research on the 9th edition of the Assessing Regional Integration in Africa (ARIA9).
Those engaged in the consultation are gathered from the African Trade Policy Centre of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the African Union Commission (AUC).
This particular edition will prepare analytical work to inform the AfCFTA Phase II negotiations. The ARIA 9 report will address the three topics of the AfCFTA Phase II negotiations: a) Competition policy, b) Investment; c) Intellectual property rights; and additionally look at the case for d) Digital trade and e-commerce.
During the meetings, there will be presentations of case studies including on the experiences of the RECs across each of these themes which will build a discussion on possible policies and their characteristics in each of the four subjects, as well as their developmental potential.
Concluding each theme will be a comparative analysis of the case studies from which recommendations will be drawn for the African continental context.
The output from the consultative meetings aspires to form the intellectual groundwork underpinning the phase II negotiations, but also inform future African negotiations with other trading partners and negotiations elsewhere in the world.
The meeting, which ran from 16 to 27th July, will bring together experts from the African Union Commission, Economic Commission for Africa, UNCTAD, AfDB, Overseas Development Institute, International Arbitration Africa, Centre for Trade Policy and Law, Cape Town University, CUTS, ARIPO, OAPI, ECOWAS, EAC, COMESA Competition Commission, SADC, among others.