Witnessing the New Free Trade Agreement in East Africa

by | Jun 20, 2022 | Inspiring News

The East African Business Council (EABC) and Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) jointly organized the event. It revealed that 45 of the 55 African nations had ratified the AfCFTA agreement.

Delegates at the summit agreed that the EAC regional value networks should flow smoothly into the continental value chains.

Over 50 business and industry executives, and policy experts from private sector groups from Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda attended the event.

Moreover, the East African private sector wants the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Rules of Origin finalized as soon as possible.

Business executives made the plea during a consultative conference on the AfCFTA and the Tripartite Free Trade Area earlier this week in Nairobi (TFTA).

Around 87 percent of member African nations have now submitted the liberalization timetable. They’ve also agreed on the Rules of Origin for goods and services.

Furthermore, textiles and garment items account for 10.5 percent of the outstanding Rules of Origin under the AfCFTA trade agreement. Automobile components and accessories account for 1.4 percent of the Rules of Origin. Hence, completing the Rules of Origin negotiations at the AfCFTA was critical for value chains and employment growth.

The agreed-upon procedures and the implementation of customs processes for the AfCFTA’s trade benefits every member nation.

The AfCFTA should be built on strong private sector participation, pushing for trust-building and a shift in attitude to promote ‘Made in East Africa’ and ‘Made in Africa’ products.

Today, intra-Africa trade stands at 18 percent, but under the AfCFTA agreement, intra-Africa commerce will increase to 70%. Industry executives are appealing for import substitution to promote intra-Africa trading.

Hence, East African countries should tap into competitive and comparative advantages to boost their economies by welcoming foreign investments and expanding global businesses.

TMEA will encourage public-private partnerships to boost Africa’s infrastructure connections. Aside from the completion of the AfCFTA Rules of Origin discussions, business leaders urged the establishment of effective trade procedures.

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