Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Secretariat, has reiterated the successful implementation of the free trade pact as a game-changer for Africa. “The AfCFTA implementation will now witness a transit of goods to other countries in Africa at reduced tariffs and barriers and it is completely a game-changer on the African continent” he stated.
According to him, the reduced tariff regime under the AfCFTA will enable traders, exporters, and small and medium enterprises to transit their goods and products efficiently. Wamkele Mene, however assured that, all modalities have been set in place for a smooth but cautious implementation of the free trade pact. “Of course, it’s going to take a bit of time before we see the benefits as happens in every free trade agreement,” the Secretary-General expressed.
He also disclosed during an interview that some 54 African Ministers of Trade will meet in Ghana’s capital city Accra, by the end of January this year to hold deliberations and set out a timeline for other trade-related protocols such as Women-In-Trade within the agreement. “One of such protocols will be focused on Women-In-Trade and as you know it is very important to affirm the role of women in trade and also enhance from a legal standpoint, the role of Women-In-Trade and this protocol is of critical importance and so the Ministers of Trade will work out the modalities for that” Mr. Wamkele explained.
The Intra-African trade pact would witness 90 percent of all goods traded enjoy a tariff-free regime from January 1, 2021, for all countries that have signed agreements and deposited their instruments of AfCFTA ratification. With some 54 out of 55 African countries participating in the single trade market pact, the AfCFTA would have the largest number of member countries in any trade deal since the formation of the World Trade Organization.
Source: Ghana web