This thesis intended to review the policy enactment and implementation for the mutual acceptance of conformity assessment results (MACAR) within the context of the African Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA). Contextualised within the ambit of a regional economic arrangement, the MACAR has received renewed attention in recent years due to its impact on the economic welfare objective of trading economies. Three of the existing African regional economic arrangements, namely the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) launched the TFTA in 2015. Regional economic integration initiatives such as the TFTA hold much promise for the creation of economic welfare for participating member states. However, without a harmonised approach to the enactment and implementation of the MACAR, the TFTA’s ability to achieve its economic welfare gain objective is at risk. Building on existing work on Africa’s regional integration initiatives and the African policy environment, the study asks: How can the TFTA MACAR enactment and implementation framework be harmonised to facilitate the acceptance of conformity assessment results amongst the TFTA Member States, in order to facilitating the free flow of goods and services?
A qualitative methodology approach, comprising a review of the literature and information gathered from semi-structured interviews and case studies was employed. Grounded within the domain of Public Administration, specifically in International Public Administration and International Economics, the analysis of the data revealed that the challenge of facilitating the acceptance of conformity assessment results should be addressed at the international, regional and national levels, as it relates to the policy environment. Based on the study, six findings and associated recommendations evolved. The study found that the critical components of a TFTA MACAR enactment in implementation framework are: i) compliance with the World Trade Organisation’s Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement requirements; ii) inclusiveness; iii) communication; iv) human resource and infrastructure development; and v) monitoring, control and sanctions. On this basis, and to support and strengthen the effectiveness of the study’s outcome, it is recommended that the TFTA: i) clarify the TFTA trade strategy; ii) clarify the conformity assessment procedure strategy; iii) address the loss of income from the liberalisation of tariff barriers and technical barriers; iv) Speed up the process of harmonisation of CAP; v) establish stakeholder and policy role-players’ participation structures; and vi) Establish communication hubs. Further research is needed to find ways to strengthen the effectiveness of the proposed MACAR enactment and implementation framework.