Register Conference Schedule

Background

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was established on 21 March 2018 after it was signed in Kigali, Rwanda, by 44 Heads of State and Government of the 55 AU Member States. The Agreement is a starting point for more detailed negotiations on trade in goods and services and other trade-related issues such as competition, investment, and intellectual property rights. It comprises three frameworks:

1. An overreaching Establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area;
2. A Protocol on Trade in Goods, comprising a framework of general obligations and nine (incomplete) Annexes, as well as provision for national schedules of tariff concessions yet to be negotiated; and
3. A Protocol on Trade in Services, also comprising a framework of general obligations, with provision for Annexes (sectoral and cross-cutting) and national schedules of specific commitments, also yet to be negotiated.

Moving towards the African Economic Community by 2063 The AfCFTA is a key step towards achieving the vision of an African Economic Community (AEC), set out in the Abuja Treaty3.

The AEC was established by Article 3 of the Treaty with the following objectives:

• To promote economic, social and cultural development and the integration of African economies in order to increase economic self-reliance and promote an endogenous and self-sustained development.

• To establish, on a continental scale, a framework for the development, mobilization and utilization of the human and material resources of Africa to achieve self-reliant development.

• To promote cooperation in all fields of human endeavour to raise the standard of living of African peoples, and maintain and enhance economic stability, foster close and peaceful relations among Member States and contribute to the progress, development, and the economic integration of the Continent; and • To coordinate and harmonize policies among existing and future economic communities to foster the gradual establishment of the Community.

Nonetheless, there has been an unprecedented increase in Data crime globally. Africa is a region with one of the highest rates of Data crime affecting the strategic, economic and social growth development of the region. However, the level of development of digital infrastructure in African countries directly influences their security posture. Reports suggest that Data criminals rely on the very poor security habits of the general population and urge policy makers to engage in awareness campaigns since there is strong evidence that such initiatives can efficiently lower the success rate of Data crime.

Trade and cybersecurity are one of the two dynamics shaping the world today. However, this conference is designed to determine the connectivity that arises from AfCFTA and Data Security.

The theme for the Conference is: Data Security Considerations for a Continental Free Trade Area: The Challenges and Prospects.

The Conference (which is a virtual conference) is scheduled to hold on Thursday, October 14 and Friday, October 15, 2021.

Sponsors

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