NAIROBI-- Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Trade Adan Mohamed, who is leading the Kenyan delegation to the African Ministers of Trade Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, is optimistic of a positive decision emerging for the creation of the single continental market for goods and services.

The meeting being held on Friday and Saturday has brought together African trade ministers to consider and adopt the legal instruments to set up the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which will be considered at the summit of Heads of State and Government later this month.

This follows the decision by the African leaders to hold an extraordinary summit on March 21 in Kigali where the agreement establishing the African Continental FTA is expected to be signed.

The AfCFTA will bring together 55 African countries with a combined population of more than 1.2 billion people, with a vibrant and growing middle class, and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of more than 3.4 trillion US dollars," said Mohamed.

The main outcome of the AfCFTA is expected to be the creation a single continental market for goods and services, through tariff liberalization and improving the regulatory framework, with free movement of business persons and investments, harmonization of the policies and instruments that facilitate across the RECs and across Africa and member countries.

The ultimate objective, apart from creating a single liberalized market, is to enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level, enhance value addition of products and exploit economies of scale and optimum utilization of resource.

The AfCFTA negotiation has developed the Framework Text establishing the AfCFTA and protocols and annexes covering all these areas such as the Protocol on Trade in Goods, Protocol on Trade in Services, Protocol on Dispute Settlement, among others.


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