The AfCFTA Secretariat is launching the AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative in Accra
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat on Friday, 7 October 2022, will be holding a ceremony to launch the AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative to mark the commencement of trade under the Agreement. The event will take place at the margins of the 10th Meeting of the Council of Ministers, the latter being held from 7-8 October 2022.
This Ministerial Directive of The 7th Meeting of the AfCFTA Council of Ministers responsible for Trade, on 10th October 2021, provided a legal basis for the countries that had submitted their tariff schedules in accordance with the agreed modalities to trade preferentially amongst themselves. However, as commercially meaningful trade had not commenced under the AfCFTA, the AfCFTA Secretariat embarked on a solution-based approach in the form of an AfCFTA Initiative on Guided Trade.
The Guided Trade Initiative intends to achieve its goal through matchmaking businesses and products for export and import between these interested State Parties in coordination with their national AfCFTA implementation committees.
The specific objectives of the AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative are:
- to allow commercially meaningful trading under the AfCFTA;
- to test the operational, institutional, legal and trade policy environment under the AfCFTA; and
- to send an important positive message to the African economic operators.
The Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, His Excellency Wamkele Mene, speaking on the launch of the Guided Trade Initiative said: “The Guided Trade Initiative materialises the ambition of African Heads of State and Government to create a single market under the AfCFTA Agreement. We look forward to showcasing made in Africa products benefiting from tariff preferences under the AfCFTA and beyond that, the impact in African markets.”
The products earmarked to trade under the AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative include: ceramic tiles, tea, coffee, processed meat products, corn starch, sugar, pasta, glucose syrup, dried fruits, and sisal fibre, amongst others, in line with the AfCFTA focus on value chain development.
The interested State Parties represents 5 African regions. The AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative will serve as a gateway to encourage continued trade under the AfCFTA, resulting in a multiplier effect and increased opportunities for SMEs, Youth and Women in trade and ultimately establishing sustainable and inclusive economic development.
About the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is one of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want and entered into force on 30 May 2019. It is a high ambition trade