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On 25th and 26th July 2022, the AfCFTA Council of Ministers met in Accra, Ghana for the 9th Meeting of the AfCFTA Council of Ministers responsible for trade. During this meeting, the AfCFTA Secretariat reported major strides towards making trade under the AfCFTA fully operational.
The key highlights of the meeting included:
Commencement of Trade under the Pilot Phase
During the meeting, the AfCFTA Council of Ministers also announced that seven countries were chosen to pilot trading in the Africa continental free trade area. These countries include Kenya, Tanzania, Tunisia, Cameroon, Egypt, Mauritius, and Ghana. The pilot phase means that Kenya will now be able to access markets in West and Central Africa on preferential rates despite being different economic blocs with countries such as Ghana and Tunisia. Kenya will trade selected products that cut across manufacturing and construction materials, agro-processing and automobiles. These goods will include milk, horticulture products, cheeses and textiles.
Kenya, which is part of the cohort to trade under the pilot phase, launched its National African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Implementation Strategy 2022-2027 on 4th August 2022. The Strategy is timely as it aims to boost opportunities for industrial diversification, investment, job creation and deepen relations with other countries in the African Continent in light of Kenya’s participation in the pilot phase. During the launch, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Trade announced the establishment of an Ad hoc Committee tasked with coordinating the AfCFTA Initiative on Guided Trade by identifying the export products and facilitating product market access.
Martin Gitau- Research Associate
Kelly Nyaga- Trainee Lawyer