Kenya begins trading under AfCFTA

It is among the first six nations piloting the continental pact.

In Summary

•To date, 54 African Union  member states have signed the AfCFTA agreement with 49 having ratified it, making them eligible to trade.

•However, only six countries– Ghana, Cameroon, Egypt, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya are leading the pact in the pilot phase.

A container vessel at the Port of Mombasa/FILE
A container vessel at the Port of Mombasa/FILE

Kenyan-made exide batteries are set to land in the Port of Tema, Ghana, today, marking the country's formal start of trading under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

Kenya’s High Commissioner to Ghana Ambassador  Eliphas Barine will be at hand to witness unveiling of the cargo by a Representative of Kenya’s Associated Battery Manufacturing EA Ltd, who will hand the consignment over to the importer MsGifty Fianu of Yesudem Company Ltd, Ghana.

The ceremony will be witnessed by Ambassadors of other African Countries to Ghana, and the AfCFTA Secretariat.

Kenya is among six countries selected to participate in the pilot phase of the AfCFTA initiative on Guided Trade.

It is formulated on realisation that no trading was taking place one-and-a-half years after the launch of AfCFTA preferential trading, on January 1, 2021.

The other five countries are Cameron, Egypt, Ghana,Rwanda and Tanzania.

The initiative is a programme to kick-start trade between and among State Parties that have signaled their readiness to commence commercially meaningful relations, through the utilisation of AfCFTA Preferences.

The six pilot countries are required to identify products that can access the markets among the pilot countries.

Through an Ad Hoc Committee formed to spearhead this initiative, Kenya has identified several products for this initiative.

They include tea, exide batteries,confectionery, leather bags, incinerators, beaded products, vehicular filters,textiles, sisal fibre, avocadoes and fresh produce.

Associated Battery Manufacturing EA Ltd is the first Kenyan company to start trading under AfCFTA.

It is also the first local company to ever export exide batteries to the Ghanian market.

"Kenya and Ghana are keen on using the AfCFTA Agreement to create jobs and market for their goods and services, thereby keeping wealth within the African continent," Kenya's Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development ministry said in a statment.

Kenya is confident that the implementation of the AfCFTA trade pact has the potential to unlock market access for our goods and services within the African continent, while creating numerous job opportunities across multiple sectors and industries.

As it stands, statistics show that the AfCFTA creates a large single market with a population of over 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of about US$ 2.5 trillion (Sh 303.2 trillion).

Despite the significance of trade, Africa’s share of the total global trade remains low at 2.8 per cent.

In addition, the share of intra-African trade has been limited at 18 per cent.

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