BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
THE Midlands State University (MSU), in conjunction with the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) is next week set to hold a three-day virtual international conference on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The conference will run from October 27 to 29 and seeks to promote policy, innovation, value chains, value-addition industrialisation efforts.
It will run under the theme African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Challenges on Deepening Sustainable Integration and Transformation of Rural-Urban and Resettled Communities in Southern and Sub Saharan Africa in a COVID-19 Apidemic, Agenda 2030; Africa Agenda 2063 and Fourth Industrial Revolution Phase.
Conference director and MSU development studies senior lecturer, Godfrey Chikowore, said representatives from United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, World Bank, Pan-African Business Women Association, United Nations Development Programme and Galelio Holdings Ltd, among others, would take part in the conference.
“As stalwarts in development co-operation projects across nations, regions and continents, their participation lends credence to this generation-changing MSU AfCFTA,” he said.
The conference will also discuss the historical development of the free trade area in Africa, African interdependency and how AfCFTA could impact the livelihoods of the marginalised majority in rural-urban Africa.
Some of the topics to be covered during the conference include climate change adaptation and mitigation technologies, especially the low emissions development strategy that should inform the AfCFTA industrialisation drive through its implementation phase across member states.
The conference will culminate in the publication of a dedicated special paper entitled The AfCFTA: Industrialisation Driven Rural-Urban Transformation in southern and sub-Saharan Africa.
Local attendees include the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, Zimbabwe Open University, and Business Council for Sustainable Development Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, Galileo Holdings, and the ministries of Environment, Tourism, among other stakeholders.