Jean Bertrand AzapmoPrincipal Adviser to the AU Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining at Department of Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining African Union Commission
Jean Bertrand Azapmo is a senior trade expert and diplomat with 17 years of professional experience in trade policy formulation, negotiations and implementation in the Africa and Asia-Pacific regions.
He currently provides high level strategic advice to the AU Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining on a wide range of issues pertaining to Agenda 2063, with a focus on: Africa’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic; developing internal capabilities in technology and innovation to transition the Continent towards high value added exports; implementation of key continental strategies (Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa (AIDA), African Mining Vision (AMV), and the African Quality Infrastructure Policy); addressing debt sustainability and expanding Africa’s fiscal space; export diversification to supply the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) market and increase Africa’s share of international trade; mobilization of increased investment and eliminating of illicit financial flows; and enhancing innovation to drive self -sustainable development across and position Africa in the 4th industrial revolution.
One of his duties is the coordination of strategic partnership to advance the Africa economic development, trade, industry and mining agenda.
Mr. Azapmo represents the Commission in several committees, including the High-Level Group on EU-Africa, the Intra-African Trade Fair Advisory Council, and the coordination among the AU Commission, the AfCFTA Secretariat, and the Secretariats of the Regional Economic Communities.
Prior to that, he provided strategic advice to the AU Commissioner for Trade and Industry on a wide range of trade and trade-related issues, including negotiations of the Agreement Establishing the AfCFTA; the development of the Framework of Collaboration among the AU Commission, the AfCFTA Secretariat, and the Secretariats of the Regional Economic Communities; the development of the African Trade Observatory and the AU Digital Trade Strategy.
Before joining the AU Commission in 2017, Mr. Azapmo served as a National Trade Adviser to the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia in the Asia Pacific region, where he led several successful trade and investment promotion missions in the US. He was the Lead Adviser for Micronesia’s participation in the negotiations for the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus between Forum Island Countries and Australia and New Zealand; the Economic Partnership Agreement between the Pacific Island Countries and the European Union; as well as the Protocol to the Pacific Island Countries Agreement on Trade in Services. He successfully led the negotiations, signing and ratification of the Treaty establishing the Micronesian Trade and Economic Community among Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau; and supported the development of Micronesia National Trade Policy and the National Export Strategy.
From 2004 to 2008, Mr. Azapmo served as Research Assistant in the Ministry of External relations of Cameroon, focusing on issues of good governance and economic diplomacy.
Mr. Azapmo graduated from the International Relations Institute of Cameroon. He holds a Master in Regional Law from the University of Dschang Cameroon and a Master in International Trade and Investment Law from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.