Ghana and seven other countries including Kenya, Egypt, and Cameroon have agreed to begin actual trading among themselves under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
This will be the first since the agreement was signed about two years ago.
Speaking at the Export Trading Company Seminar by the Africa Export and Import Bank, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Herbert Krapa, said this will be a historic move for the continent and expects other member nations to emulate.
“So far, 54 African countries have signed the AfCFTA Agreement. 46 have submitted their tariff offers, including Customs Union. Also, 29 tariff offers have been technically verified for trading. 87.7% of tariff lines have been agreed upon under the Rules of Origin negotiations and phase two negotiations on Investment, Intellectual Property Rights, Competition Policy, Women and Youth in Trade and Digital Trade are ongoing”.
“The AfCFTA Secretariat and its young dynamic Secretary-General [Wamkele Mene] deserves to be congratulated for leading what I believe is a successful implementation in the making”, he mentioned.
The Secretariat has also launched the AfCFTA Initiative on Guided Trade to simply translate all the progress on paper into action.
“Actual trading is starting between Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Mauritius, Rwanda, Tanzania, Tunisia and Ghana. In the coming weeks, the dream of our forebears will be off the ground, and historic as the moment may be”, he noted.
Mr. Krapa also explained that the establishment of export trading companies for the continent is timely for the transformation agenda.
“Setting up Export Trading Companies across Africa could not have come at a better time. AfCFTA is about exports and we must commend Afrexim Bank for initiating a strategy to facilitate the setting up of these Export Trading Companies”.