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First African Forum for National Trade Facilitation Committees

November 27-29, 2018

United Nations Conference Centre, Addis Ababa


The first ever African Forum for National Trade Facilitation Committees: Empowering Public-Private partnership for trade facilitation will be held at UNECA's Conference Center, Addis Ababa from 27 to 29 November 2018.

More than 300 participants from the public sector, business community, donors, and regional and international organizations are expected to attend.

  • In its continued effort to support African Countries in their national and regional Trade Facilitation reforms, UNCTAD will organize the First African Forum for National Trade Facilitation Committees (NTFCs) in cooperation with the International Trade Centre, United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), United Nations Commission for Africa, World Bank Group, ​World Customs Organization, World Trade Organization, among other organizations.

    The Forum aims to be the reference event in Africa where stakeholders from the public and private sector, can boost together their capacities towards the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

    The Forum’s objectives are three-fold: 

    • Knowledge sharing: The forum will invite world-wide experts to update participants on the latest trends in the implementation of the WTO TFA at the national and the regional level. Experts will also guide members of the NTFCs on how to reap the benefits from digital economy and the latest technologies such as blockchain, trade portals among others
    • Promoting best practices: Policy makers, Customs officers, and business representatives from 54 African Countries will drive the discussions on the success factors and lessons learnt in the implementation of Trade Facilitation reforms and solutions for challenges
    • Matchmaking for cooperation: The event will offer a unique opportunity for African Countries to get information on the available Trade Facilitation programmes in the region. Participants will also be given the opportunity to meet with bilateral donors as well as regional and international organizations during a Trade Fair and networking activities

    The meeting is open to members of the NTFCs from all countries that have been nominated to attend the meeting. Donors, international agencies and regional organisations are also invited to attend.


    Tuesday– 27 November 2018

    08:30 – 09:00

    Welcome networking coffee and registration

    09:00 - 11:00

    Opening remarks

    11: 00 – 11:10

    Presentation of programme, agenda, team of experts, objectives of the week

    11:10– 12:30

    Trade Facilitation efforts and prospective in Africa

    12:30 - 13:30

    Lunch break


    Free time slot for a side event

    14:00 - 14:30

    The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement - Status of ratification, categorisation and notifications in Africa

    14:30 - 15:45

    The role of the African regional organisations in implementing Trade Facilitation reforms

    15:45 – 17:00

    The role of NTFCs in the implementation of trade facilitation provisions in the African Continental Free Trade Area

    17:00 – 18:30

    Trade Fair: Donors and international organizations will share information on Technical Assistance and Capacity Building programmes with participants in a trade-fair style


    Wednesday– 28 November 2018

    08:00 – 09:00

    Free time slot for a side event

    09:00 - 10:30

    How to make an NTFC sustainable and ensure political will:  best practices, challenges and lessons learned

    10:30 – 12:00

    Mainstreaming gender equality in trade facilitation

    12:00 - 13:00

    Lunch break

    13:00 – 14:00

    UNCTAD side event: Sharing best practices in the establishment of Trade Portals (country-cases)

    14:00 - 15:00

    The role of the NTFCs in the establishment and operation of Electronic Single Window and other paperless initiatives

    15:00 - 16:00

    Involvement and Role of the Private Sector in NTFCs

    16:00 – 17:00

    How to engage effectively with other border agencies in a coordinated border management context

    17:00 – 18:00

    Side-event organized by the UNCTAD African Office (tentative time slot)


    Thursday – 29 November 2018


    08:00 – 09:00

    Free time slot for a side event

    09:00 – 10:00

    Donors’ support for the implementation of trade facilitation reforms and South-South Cooperation


    10:00 – 11:00

    Available Technical assistance and Capacity Building in Africa for the implementation of Trade Facilitation reforms


    11:00 – 12:00

    Best practices, challenges and lessons learned in seeking TF technical assistance


    12:00 - 13:00

    Lunch break


    13:00 – 14:00

    Global Alliance side event: Launch of the Zambia project


    14:00 – 15:00

    New challenges: Transit coordination at the heart of the NTFC



    Trade Facilitation 3.0: the role of NTFCs in a digitalized trade facilitation world



    Closing remarks  and the way forward


    17:00 17:30

    Short evaluation and distribution of attendance certificates