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Development at the local level & the domestic enabling environment for trade

The Addis Agenda acknowledges the importance of policy coherence on trade at all levels for maximizing trade’s contribution to sustainable development. At the national level, it asserts the importance to strengthen domestic enabling environments and implement policies conducive to increasing trade’s contribution to inclusive growth and sustainable development. The commitment calls for policy actions that are complementary to trade policy changes, with a view to supporting households and businesses to capture economic opportunities arising from trade. Domains for such complementary actions would include, but are not limited to, connectivity to markets, access to trade finance, entrepreneurship development and competition policy. Improving domestic investment climate and policies and regulatory frameworks to better align business and finance with global goals, encouraging quality direct investment/FDI, particularly in underfunded sectors and countries are of particular importance. The exact nature of the domestic enabling environment and the choice of domestic policies for this purpose must be specific to each country’s economic and developmental conditions. Moreover, creating the enabling environment also depends on policies in other areas and how they are mutually supportive with trade policies.

Single Window for Foreign Trade

This is a portal upon which all public and private administrative formalities for foreign trade are conducted. Common to all types are technology features which enable the completion of administrative and legal formalities required for the cross-border trade of goods. The African Alliance for E-Commerce (AAEC) continues to advance the argument for Single Windows, at national and regional levels. It follows that the modalities and functions of National Single Windows will be affected, and perhaps changed by the creation of the Continental Free Trade Area, especially due to the possible establishment of regional single windows by the African Regional Economic Communities (RECs), and a potential Single Window which may be established by the African Union. Recent performance evaluations have shown that Single Windows reduce the time and costs to process cargoes and improve transparency of ports operations. As at 2017, there are Single Windows active in twelve African countries as detailed in the table below:

Table: Implementation of single window facilities in Africa, December 2017

Active Single Windows

10 Single Windows for Foreign Trade

  • Burkina Faso
  • Congo
  • Cote d'Ivoire
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Madagascar
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Senegal
  • Tunisia
  5 Port Community Systems
  • Benin
  • Mauritius
  • Morocco
  • Senegal
  • Tunisia
2 Single Windows in Development Libya, Mali  

Source: African Alliance for E-Commerce, Practical Implementation of Single Windows for Foreign Trade