Law School Holds Annual Thematic Conference of International Law Series

Addis Ababa University (AAU) School of Law, in collaboration with GIZ Ethiopia, organized the 5th Annual Thematic Conference of the School for the International Law Series at Capital Hotel on the 1st of April 2022.

The Annual Thematic conference was addressed with a theme “African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and Ethiopia: Addressing Benefits and Challenge” where a number of scholars, virtual presenters and invited guests participated.

According to Getachew Assefa (PhD), Dean of College of Law and Governance Studies, the theme of the conference was a timely and important topic as Ethiopia, for the first time, ratified a free trade area agreement of this magnitude.

According to Dr. Getachew, the research conducted by scholars and researchers in the field will contribute to the attainment of the African Union’s agenda of “Creating One African Market.” Policy makers can be benefited from the research conference as the papers are to be presented assessing the potential benefits and challenges of Ethiopia for joining the AfCFTA from different perspectives, he added.

Mr Benjamin Tedla, First Secretary at the Embassy of Germany in Ethiopia, in his opening remarks appreciated the effort of the School to bring the AfCFTA to the attention of the public through such a conference.

GIZ and the Embassy of Germany in Addis Ababa have been working with the objective of assisting developmental activities in Ethiopia including matters related to the AfCFTA, Mr. Benjamin further said.

As stated by Mr. Benjamin, the AfCFTA has positive implications on Ethiopian Economy both at the micro and macro levels as it enhances foreign investment and competitiveness of small enterprises, but the challenges should also need to be explored.

Five research papers were presented and debated upon during the conference. Besides, H.E. Mr. Mamo E. Mihretu, Ethiopia’s Chief Trade Negotiator and advisor to the FDRE Prime Minister, also made an online presentation.

The Chief Trade Negotiator explained the rationale for the Ethiopia’s decision to ratify the AfCFTA agreement. He also responded to questions forwarded from the audience to points that mainly focused on regarding the readiness of the country towards  the requirements of the continental free trade area.

AfCFTA is a free trade area founded in 2018, with trade commencing as of January 1, 2021. It was created among 54 of the 55 African Union nations. The free-trade area  is the largest in the world in terms of the number of participating countries.  Accra, Ghana serves as its Secretariat.

Report: From School of Law

Photo: Fikremariam Beyene

Editor: Abraham Girmay