Following the reduction in trade costs associated with Trade Facilitation, Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs), and Non-Tariff Barriers, the introduction of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is anticipated to improve real revenue for EAC countries (NTBs). John Bosco Kalisa, the president and CEO of the East African Business Council, says this (EABC).
Between 2021 and 2035, the real income is anticipated to rise as follows: Kenya (11, 8%), Tanzania (10%), Uganda (3, 8%), and Rwanda (3.6%) (World Bank).
This was expanded upon during the 2-day private sector sensitization workshop on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement on Trade in Goods Protocol that was held in Nairobi, Kenya as part of the East African Business Council (EABC) GIZ-Support to East African Market-Driven and People-Centered Integration Programme (SEAMPEC) II.
Non-tariff barriers, according to Mr. Victor Ogoala, the deputy CEO of KEPSA, are preventing the AfCFTA agreement from becoming a reality. According to him, political knowledge of a village’s qualities should be the starting point for transforming Africa into a continental village.
He elaborated Through the AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative, Kenya has sold batteries and tea to Ghana, and there are plans to export automobile parts and electric cables as well.
Mr. Mucai Kunyiha, director of the EABC Board, advised the Kenyan business sector to take the initiative by engaging in trade under the AfCFTA.
Mr. Kunyiha claimed that by creating a market of 1.3 billion people with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) valued at USD 3.4 trillion, the AfCFTA Agreement is a manifest demonstration of the African States’ commitment to increasing trade and investment among themselves.
According to Mr. Auni Bhaiji, EABC Goodwill Ambassador on Transport and Logistics, the implementation of AFCFTA is anticipated to greatly expand intra-African commerce, particularly in manufacturing. For instance, the following countries’ intra-AfCFTA export shares will rise: Tanzania (28%); Uganda (29%); Rwanda (33%); and Kenya (43%).
55 companies from the private sector attended the AfCFTA workshop in Kenya, where they learnt about the Trade in Goods Protocol and its annexes—particularly the Rules of Origin, Tariff Concessions, and Non-Tariff Barriers—as well as the effects they have on companies operating in the EAC region.
Other business leaders that presided over the event were KEPROBA’s Acting CEO, Ms. Floice Mukabana, and Mr. Job Wanjohi, Head of Policy Research and Advocacy at KAM.
The AfCFTA Agreement aims to increase intra-African commerce by gradually removing tariffs on over 90 African products, as well as non-tariff trade barriers and restrictions on goods and services.
A total of USD 7.9 billion worth of commodities were sent by the EAC to Africa, accounting for 42% of all items exported by the EAC worldwide (USD 18.7 billion). Precious stones, coffee, tea, cement, animal fats, mineral oils, iron, and steel were among the top EAC exports to Africa.
Vegetables, tea, rice, coffee, sugar, textiles, soap, sesame seeds, edible oils, tubers, and milk are just a few of the goods that East Africa as a bloc may export to the continent.
Prof. Seth Gor, Mr. Walter Kamau, Mr. Abel Kamau, and Brian Kalekye led the workshop, which was mediated by Mr. Adrian Njau.