1. About the Inquiry

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Trade Out of Poverty (APPG TOP) is undertaking an inquiry into the UK’s Africa Free Trade Initiative (AFTi), which was launched by the Prime Minister five years ago.

Evidence gathered by the inquiry will be synthesised into a report, which will be published and presented to the Prime Minister and the Government ministers from the Department for International Development (DFID), Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS).

For more information about the Inquiry into Africa Free Trade initiative, please click here.

2. Key questions

To support the Inquiry, we would like to ask for written submissions from the UK Government departments, organisations and individuals on any of the following issues (in your respective perspectives):

  • How can trade policies and trade facilitation systems in Africa be designed to further the goals of wealth creation, employment and poverty reduction, taking into account the growing importance of the digital economy in world trade?
  • What are the key opportunities and challenges for boosting trade in Africa, and with the rest of the world, in specific sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and services? What factors would allow African exports in these sectors to be more competitive and capture more value?
  • How can we ensure that trade development in Africa is pro-poor and equitable for women and men? Are special measures and types of investments needed for the informal sector, for SMEs, and for promoting women’s participation in trade in African countries?
  • What is the role for development partners like the UK in boosting trade and investment in Africa, both through aid-for-trade initiatives and through promoting two-way trade and investment with African countries? What approaches have worked well in this area so far and what more could be done? Building on AFTi, could the UK take a more ambitious and longer term approach in the future?

We also welcome submissions which focus on a particular topic under the broader umbrella of trade and investment in Africa (e.g. informal cross-border trade, women & trade, etc).

3. Guidelines

  • Please state clearly whether the submission is from yourself in a personal capacity or sent on behalf of an organisation.
  • Total 3,000 words maximum in length, no more than six sides of A4 paper.
  • Use font Calibri or Arial, size 10 throughout the document.
  • Include a short summary of the evidence in bullet point form.
  • Please include references.
  • Document saved in Word or PDF.
  • Comprise single document attachment to send to jade@saana.com
  • Please supply a postal address so a copy of the Committee’s report can be sent to you upon publication

4. Deadline

The call for evidence will close on Friday 8th April 2016.