National Trade Facilitation Committees (NTFCs) play a pivotal role in the national coordination of trade facilitation reforms. This is clearly stated in the international and continental instruments that almost all countries in West Africa have ratified, including in: Art. 23.2 of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), and Art. 28, Annex 4 of the Protocol Trade in Goods of the African Union (AU) African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Because of this, NTFCs are the right platform to bring together the public, private sectors and civil society to address trade bottlenecks and improve trade facilitation within the region. With this in mind, the TFWA Program supports NTFCs through several different activities under its first component. The TFWA Program aims to build a community of practice and a network of Trade Facilitation champions. The TFWA Program is engaged by the NTFCs’ side to ensure the WTO TFA, the AU AfCFTA, and mandates given by the West Africa governments to the NTFCs are effectively carried out in each country based on international best practices and each nation’s specificities. The program has developed customized regional tools and also sustains and shares experience and good practices within the sub-region.
SUPPORTING WEST AFRICAN NTFCs THROUGH A CUSTOMIZED MATURITY MODEL AND RELATED TOOLBOX
The TFWA Program has designed a practical tool to accompany NTFCs in achieving their objectives, fostering and sustaining their maturity to become more performant and ensuring that the national consultation platforms are equipped to further influence the regional trade facilitation agenda.
The TFWA Maturity Model offers a user-friendly tool to self-assess the maturity level of each NTFC, to design fit-for-purpose and results-based NTFC action plans, and to participate in effective progress monitoring in response to trade facilitation-related international and continental engagements in each country.
NTFCs in Action: A closer look at how NTFC members are making a difference
BUILDING A REGIONAL COMMUNITY OF PRACTICES
To better coordinate regional NTFCs, the TFWA Program launches several initiatives to bring together West African NTFCs, providing updates from across the region and shining a spotlight on NTFC successes.
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