Kenya begins domestication of AfCFTA policies


African leaders signed the deal in Rwanda, 2018.
African leaders signed the deal in Rwanda, 2018.

In Summary

  • Out of 55 African countries, only 34 have signed and ratified the deal.
  • But concerns over uptake of goods have emerged as regional exports drop by thirty percent over the last ten years.

Kenya stands to benefit immensely from the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The Industrialisation Ministry has moved in to assure small enterprises of markets for their goods in the continental pact.

Also Read: African free trade bloc opens for business, but challenges remain

Kenya has embarked on a series of workshops to validate the implementation strategy for AfCFTA which came into force in January 2021.

“We don’t want to be left behind…a few countries have started……we want our people to know they are able to trade, no barriers are out there,” Trade National Secretary Bruno Lunyiru said.

Speaking in Naivasha, Trade Ministry officials confirmed that Kenya had joined the likes of Ghana and South Africa which have already begun to domestic the free trade agreement.

Out of 55 African countries, only 34 have signed and ratified the deal.

But concerns over uptake of goods have emerged as regional exports drop by thirty percent over the last ten years.

“80% of our business are by Wanjiku, small enterprises…..that is what we are doing here to reach out to them……if you have powdered milk, it is possible to sell it in Egypt….without steep traffic that was there before…it is more friendly,” said David Osiany, CAS in the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade.

The impact of COVID-19 is still rife among businesses, but the government reckons the pact has a high market potential in terms of various goods and demand from individual countries.

Osiany added: “If we are unable to consume locally ethnic we can move push our goods to that market, and I am persuaded we cant satisfy the market…trade issues are global post covid, we are on a pathway to addressing these challenges and getting back on our feet again.”

Kenya began developing its National AfCFTA Implementation Strategy in November 2019 subjecting the draft to public participation.

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