Trade in Services

Trade in Services

One of the specific objectives of the AfCFTA Agreement is the progressive liberalisation of services. The AfCFTA Protocol in Trade in Services envisions a liberalised African Services market which shall be achieved by gradually eliminating restrictions that are incompatible with the AfCFTA Agreement, the AfCFTA Protocol on Trade in Services, the Negotiating Guidelines for Services Negotiations under the AfCFTA Protocol on Trade in Services, and the AfCFTA Modalities for Services Negotiations.

The progressive liberalisation will be accomplished in two ways: first, by State Parties offering their commitments in service sectors through Schedules of Specific Commitments, and second, by developing cross-cutting sectoral regulatory frameworks.

Trade in Services
Trade in Services

The State Party’s schedule of commitments specifies the scope and depth of market opening that will be provided (market access), as well as the requirements regarding the treatment of service providers from other State Parties and nationals (national treatment) under which State Parties will submit their commitments ‘positively’ by listing those sectors and subsectors in which they wish to liberalise.

The regulatory frameworks refer to the incorporation of sector and sub-sector specific obligations through the development of regulatory frameworks for each of the sectors, as necessary, considering best practices from the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and other regions of the world.

The Directorate of Trade in Services oversees the implementation of the AfCFTA Protocol on Trade in Services. Currently, State Parties are engaged in rigorous negotiations under the Committee of Trade in Services of which the first round of negotiations is currently ongoing under five (5) priority sectors, namely, Business Services; Communication Services; Financial Services; Transport Services, and Tourism and Travel-related Services; with 48 initial and revised offers from both State and non-State Parties currently being considered and the request/offer process being at a fairly advanced stage.

The 5 Priority Sectors under Trade in Services are:

Business Services

A. All Professional Services

B. Computer and Related Services

C. Research and Development Services

D. Real Estate Services

E. Rental/Leasing Services without Operators

F. Other Business Services

Communication Services

A. Postal services

B. Courier services

C. Telecommunication services

D. Audiovisual services

E. Others

Financial Services

A. All insurance and insurance-related services

B. Banking and other financial services

C. Other Financial Services

Tourism Services

A. Hotels and restaurants (incl. catering)

B. Travel agencies and tour operators services

C. Tourist guides services

D. Other  

Transport Services

A. Maritime Transport Services

B. Internal Waterways Transport

C. Air Transport Services

D. Space Transport

E. Rail Transport Services

F. Road Transport Services

G. Pipeline Transport

H. Services auxiliary to all modes of transport

I. Other Transport Services  

Communication Services

Financial Services

Tourism Services

Transportation Services

Business Services

Countries that have submitted initial offers are:

Regulatory Audit Reports

State Parties
CEMAC Member States
ECOWAS/Mauritania Member States