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Mene gets the nod for a second term as AfCFTA Secretary-General

Mr Wamkele Mene has been reappointed as Secretary-General for the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) by the African Union’s (AU) Authority of Heads and Governments.

He was re-elected for another four-year term at the African Union’s 37th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of States and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The AU stated that Mr Mene’s reappointment demonstrated their confidence in him and that it felt honoured to have worked with him for the ‘Africa we want,’ which is part of the AU’s Agenda 2063.

The South African is the first Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, having served in that role since 2020, overseeing and facilitating the implementation of the world’s largest free trade area by membership.

So far, some 47 countries have ratified and deposited their instruments of ratification for the free trade agreement.

As part of attempts to hasten the trade agreement’s implementation, the Secretariat developed the Guided Trade Initiative (GTI), w
hich saw Ghana and seven other nations meet trade requirements.

The GTI is a pilot phase designed to accelerate the implementation of the AfCFTA by evaluating the institutional, legal, and trade policy environment for intra-continental trade.

Together with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the Secretariat also launched the Pan-African Payment and Settlements System (PAPPS) to simplify and make transactions across the continent easy.

Again, about 88.3 per cent of the Rules of Origin – a strategic framework for determining goods that qualify for preferential tariff treatment originating from State parties under the AfCFTA- have been negotiated.

Mr Mene, served as the Chief Director of the Africa Economic Relations at the Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa, where he acted as the negotiator in the AfCFTA and Tripartite FTA negotiations.

He also worked as the Director for International Trade and Investment Law at the Department of Trade and Industry.

He represented South Africa at the
World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland and was elected as the Chairman of WTO’s Committee on International Trade in Financial Services.

Mr Mene holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law from the Rhodes University and a master’s degree in international studies and diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.

He also holds a Master of Laws (LL.M) degree in Banking Law and Financial Regulations form the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Source: Ghana News Agency