Facilitating cross-border trade through a coordinated African response to COVID-19
Author(s)/Corporate Author (s)United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa;
United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa;
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Since COVID-19 is a “cross-border” virus, combating the virus requires regional coordinated actions to contain the spread of COVID-19 at the same time as facilitating safe cross-border trade. COMESA, EAC and SADC have published guidelines to provide a set of standardized regulations to facilitate essential trade among their member States amid COVID-19. Other regional economic communities are in the process of developing or approving similar guidelines. Regional guidelines provide a framework to improve coordination, overcome border disputes and facilitate essential trade. COVID-19 “good-practice” in coordination and trade facilitation response measures should be retained for better facilitation in the future. Implementation of regional-level guidelines must nevertheless take place at the national level and the rules and regulations translated and contextualized to the realities faced by individual countries. The lack of harmonization of public health measures at border posts, such as health screening, testing, quarantine and clearance policies, means that congestion and delays at borders are still significant. This highlights the need to fast track the implementation of guidelines in a cooperative and consistent manner across all member States. The following discussion presents a set of priority policy recommendations that will help to support the consistent implementation of regional COVID-19 trade facilitation guidelines, and enhance coordination across African regional economic communities in the context of the continent’s regional integration policy underpinned by the AfCFTA Agreement.
Citation“United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa; United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa (2020). Facilitating cross-border trade through a coordinated African response to COVID-19. Addis Ababa. © UN. ECA. http://repository.uneca.org”
- Trade