In October this year, Kenya exported value-added tea to Accra, Ghana under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The tea consignment was flagged off by President William Ruto.
In this trade deal, Kenya benefitted from a 20 per cent reduction in import duty unlocked by the new pan-African trading bloc.
The flag off of Kenya’s tea exports to Ghana was the second trade consignment Kenya was undertaking under the AfCFTA framework.
The first preferential export for Kenya under AfCFTA took place on September 23rd, 2022 comprising oxide batteries valued at KSh 9.3 million imported by Yesudem Company Ltd in Ghana.
The tea consignment that was exported has been produced by small-scale farmers in Kenya, opening up a significant opportunity, not only in Kenya but all over the African continent to benefit from the AfCFTA.
Kenya is among the eight countries that implemented AfCFTA provisions to commence trading under the new trading bloc’s framework. The rest are Ghana, Rwanda, Tanzania, Egypt, Mauritius, Cameroon and Tunisia.
The Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a platform that seeks to give Africa a unique opportunity to replace its small fragmented markets with a large single market in which goods, services, capital and people can move freely oblivious to internal borders.
Last week, the 17th Extraordinary Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification, and the Extraordinary Session on the African Continental Free Trade Area. (AFCFTA) concluded in Niamey, Niger.
The event co-organized by the African Union Commission; the African Union Development Agency; the United Industrial Development Organization, and the United Nations Economic Community for Africa, brought together leaders, industry specialists, and strategists who met to put their heads together and explore the potential of the African continent.
The extraordinary session on AFCFTA adopted the Phase II Protocols of the continental free trade area, and launched operational tools of the treaty namely the AfCFTA e-Tariffs, rules of origin manual and AfCFTA guided trade initiative.
While addressing the session of the Executive Council of the summits, The African Union Commission chair Moussa Faki Mahamat stressed the need for countries on the continent to prioritize production of diversified manufactured goods and strengthen intra-African trade for progress made under AfCFTA to translate into socio-economic transformation.
According to the AU head, negotiations under the first phase of AfCFTA saw governments commit to eliminate customs duties on 97 per cent of tariff lines and ironed issues related to dispute settlement, rules of origin and non-tariff barriers, among others.
The extraordinary session on AFCFTA adopted the Phase II Protocols of the continental free trade area, in addition to launching additional operational tools of the treaty namely the AfCFTA e-Tariffs, rules of origin manual and AfCFTA guided trade initiative.
Twenty heads of state and government as well as their representatives attended the African Union Extraordinary Summit on Industrialization, Economic Diversification, and the AfCFTA in Niamey.
The agreement establishing the Extraordinary Session on the African Continental Free Trade Area AfCFTA was signed in Kigali, Rwanda, on March 21, 2018.