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Leveraging Integration and Regional Value Chains in Afcta: Opportunities for SEZs In Nigeria
June 23, 2022 @ June 23, 2022 - June 23, 2022
Webinar Summary: Leveraging Integration and Regional Value Chains in AfCFTA for SEZs in Nigeria
Thursday, June 23, 2022, 10:00 AM
The inaugural webinar in NEZA’s Webinar Series titled “Leveraging Integration and Regional Value Chains in AfCFTA: Opportunities for SEZs in Nigeria” held on June 23, 2022, provided a platform for thought-provoking insights and discussions.
Opening Remarks by Mr. Toyin Elegbede, ES, NEZA
Mr. Toyin Elegbede expressed gratitude to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the Pan-African Payment & Settlement System (PAPSS) for their collaboration on this inaugural webinar. He extended appreciation to the attendees and wished them a fruitful discussion.
Goodwill Message by Sir Umana Umana, MD, OGFZA
Sir Umana Umana acknowledged NEZA’s commitment to hosting the webinar, especially amid supply chain disruptions resulting from global events. He underscored AfCFTA’s potential to unlock significant opportunities for businesses in Africa and emphasized the need to reposition Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to play a pivotal role in AfCFTA’s implementation. He shared the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority’s (NEPZA) commitment to address challenges hindering investment in SEZs, focusing on driving industrialization and economic growth, fostering employment opportunities, and attracting more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
Goodwill Message by Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, MD, NEPZA
Prof. Adesoji Adesugba commended Mr. Toyin Elegbede and his team for organizing the webinar at a critical juncture marked by supply chain disruptions due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. He elaborated on AfCFTA’s mandate and its potential to benefit investors and businesses in Africa. He outlined several initiatives in SEZ policy areas to support AfCFTA and NEPZA’s goal of driving Nigeria’s industrialization and economic growth. He stressed the importance of scaling up production capacity within SEZs to prevent Nigeria from becoming a dumping ground for goods produced elsewhere.
Key points from the presentations at the webinar are as follows:
Presentation 1: The Role of SEZs in Developing Regional Value Chains – Mr. Francis Anatogu, Secretary, National Action Committee on AfCFTA
- AfCFTA Objectives: AfCFTA aims to create a single market for goods and services within Africa, promoting economic integration and free movement of goods and persons.
- Implementation Phases: Implementation of AfCFTA involves two phases, with Phase I focusing on trade in goods and trade in services.
- Strategic Plan: AfCFTA has developed a strategic plan that includes a significant focus on productive capacity and growing the value chain of products and services.
- Opportunities for SEZs: The implementation of AfCFTA offers opportunities for Special Economic Zones (SEZs), such as expanded markets, the elimination of trade barriers, GDP growth, welfare gains, and employment generation.
- Opportunities for Nigeria: Nigeria can benefit from AfCFTA, especially from “Arrowhead” products, which are goods that are readily tradable, and “High Potential” products where Nigeria exports between $1 million and $10 million.
Presentation 2: Evaluating the Implication of PAPSS for SEZs in Nigeria – Mike Ogbalu III, CEO, Pan-African Payment & Settlement System
- Pan-African Payment & Settlement System (PAPSS): PAPSS supports the integration of national and regional payment systems, facilitating instant, secure transactions in local currencies.
- Opportunities Offered by PAPSS for SEZs: PAPSS provides SEZs in Nigeria with the opportunity to export and import from elsewhere within Africa, thus promoting exports and economic growth.
The Q&A session covered various questions, including whether AfCFTA sets targets for SEZs, the achievability of AfCFTA’s implementation roadmap for 2028-2031, creating a culture of innovation in SEZs, the skill sets needed for AfCFTA’s strategic plan, and integrating free zones into the PAPSS system.