AAPC 2023

Tanzania's Competitiveness in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): Challenges and Opportunities for the Agricultural, Livestock, and Fisheries Sectors

A Concept Note for the 9th Annual Agricultural Policy Conference (AAPC) Dodoma, April 13th – 14th, 2023

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) creates one of the largest single markets in the world, measured by the number of countries participating and the people involved. The pact connects 1.3 billion people across 55 countries with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) valued at USD 3.4 trillion (World Bank, 2020). Projections by the World Bank show that by 2035, the volume of total exports would increase by almost 29%, intra-regional continental exports would increase by more than 81%, and exports to non-African countries would rise by 19% (World Bank, 2020). The AfCFTA Agreement allows Tanzania to face the current trade and economic development challenges in a manner that will significantly assist in growing the country’s trade volumes and economy. Tanzania has a comparative and competitive advantage in agricultural production and intra- regional trade. Factors such as its strategic location enable easy access to ports, infrastructure, and border points that are strategic regional trade and investment channels. Tanzania’s different agro-ecological zones can produce a variety of food commodities, while it’s stable economy and political environment are conducive to foreign investment. If utilized effectively, the country will significantly benefit from this trade Agreement. Additionally, The AfCTA has the potential to enable Tanzania’s small and medium enterprises that dominate the economy to integrate into the regional and global value chains and trading systems.

Disclaimer: PAG reserves the right to make final determination of physical participants in Dodoma. A strict code of conduct will be put in place as we take all precautions against COVID-19

About PAG & AAPC

The Annual Agricultural Policy Conference (AAPC) is organized by the Policy Analysis Group (PAG) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture. The PAG is an informal (community of practice) and voluntary group that consists of members working on agricultural policy projects, initiatives, academia, and local and international policy think tanks. Established in 2013, the group has about 20 members and provides a platform for sharing information on policy research findings so as to enhance coordination, collaboration and synergy. The PAG also aims at ensuring consistency in policy messaging.

The AAPC brings together over 150 participants from academia, research institutions, policy-makers, advocacy groups and development practitioners from Tanzania, in the region and beyond. The Conference provides an opportunity to assess progress in implementing policy reforms under the CAADP framework of the New Alliance on Food Security and Nutrition. In addition, the conference will discuss successes, lessons learned and identify remaining gaps, how to increase competitiveness within the alliances, and emerging issues that require attention.


COVID 19 and its effect on value chains and agricultural competitiveness

The 7th AAPC will also feature a session  to share data and analysis from various members. The  rationale for the session is to enable agriculture stakeholders to specify what targeted interventions and approaches should be taken to increase market competitiveness and  access to capital in light of the global recession.

Also the analysis will enable further structured support towards value chains that proved to be successful during the COVID era such as spices, cereals and horticultural value chains.

The Approach

As the AAPC is gradually turning into a regional and international platform, this upcoming conference  will mark the  launch of a digital AAPC program platform. The conference will be in a blended format and will constitute about 100 on the ground participants possibly at the Treasury Square with others joining virtually. The conference will still be in the “Davos” style in which thematic papers will be presented followed by a panel discussion before opening the session to the floor for questions and answers. All Meetings will take place in facilities that can aid virtual meetings.  The technology used will  have the  output in high resolution format and the AAPC task force will work with virtual communication  professionals with experience in managing virtual meetings and will form their own technical committee so as to build in-house capacity.

The blended format will also motivate buy-in from the donor community.  Best practices from AGRA’s AGRF and also tools from the AGRF will be effected to ensure that 7th AAPC is a success.