Mahama elected Chair of AU trade committee
President John Dramani Mahama has been elected Chairperson of the African Union’s High Level African Trade Committee (HATC).
His election on Thursday was at a meeting of the Committee shortly after the opening of the ongoing 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
President Mahama is taking over from Chad President, Idris Derby.
The HATC provides policy orientation and recommendations to the Summit of the Heads of State and Government on the acceleration and deepening of Africa’s market integration agenda.
The Committee’s main responsibility is the facilitation and unlocking of blockages in the implementation of the framework, road map and architecture for fast-tracking the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), and the action plan for boosting intra-African trade (BIAT) which became an AU policy in January 2012.
Based on progress during the past two years, the Heads of State and Government have demonstrated their commitment to fast track the establishment of the CFTA by requesting AU Ministers of Trade to convene an extraordinary session to prepare for the launch of the CFTA negotiations in 2015.
President Mahama who has been a personal advocate for improved intra-African trade is expected to use his tenure to push the agenda for greater trade among countries on the continent.
The 23rd Ordinary Session of the AU will end on Friday.