Conducting busines across Africa has been an uphill task for traders and investors, thus Africa lagging behind when it comes to intra continental trade.
To counter this , Kenya was among seven countries picked to pilot the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), in 2022, which sought to unlock the movement of goods and services in the continent.
However, currently, several barriers such , restrictions of movement, lack of common currency and lack of harmonized standards across the continent continues to be a great challenge for country’s trade .
The latter challenge has been the center of discussion during the official launch of the 14th General Assembly meetings of Africa Accreditation Cooperation held in Nairobi, Kenya.
The 5 day general assembly meetings ,aims at finding solutions to bring down barriers in trading, specifically tariffs and import quotas, encourage the free trade of goods and services, boost intellectual property protection, expand opportunities for exporters, fair treatment for investors and enhance opportunities for local firms to compete for foreign government procurements.
According to the cabinet secretary for trade Moses Kuria, The removal of tariffs, the liberalization of services, and the simplification of customs procedures under AfCFTA will open doors to new markets and forge stronger trading partnerships across Africa’s borders.
Accreditation will be the linchpin that ensures the quality and safety of the products and services that flow within this expanded market.
Speaking during the meeting The PS for industrialization Dr. Juma Mukhwana urged small businesses to take advantage of government structures if they are to improve quality of their goods, and enhance competitiveness and attractiveness of their businesses in the international market.
Experts have called upon government’s to ensure there’s conformity and speedy implementation for the continent’s accreditation processes .
Kenya Accreditation Services chairperson Ngeny Biwott also noted that Accreditation is a key driver of success as it promotes quality assurance and standards for goods and services offered from the region.
This assurance facilitates international trade and contributes to inclusive economic growth, acceptance, access to opportunities, and a level playing field for developing economies enabling Africa to gain a competitive advantage and expand into global markets.