AfCFTA, UNDP ink strategic partnership to promote trade in Africa

AFRICA – The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) have signed a strategic partnership to promote trade as a stimulus for Africa’s socioeconomic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, and as a driver of sustainable development particularly for women and youth in Africa, in line with the SDGs and Agenda 2063. The agreement was sealed by the AfCFTA secretary general Wamkele Mene, accompanied by ambassador Fatima Mohammed Kyari, permanent observer of the African Union to the United Nations, and by the UN assistant secretary-general…

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Afreximbank, COMESA partner to implement its US$1b Continental Transit Guarantee Scheme

AFRICA – Pan-African multilateral trade finance institution African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), has signed the Instrument of Accession to the Inter-Surety Agreement for the Implementation of the COMESA Regional Customs Transit Guarantee/Bond Agreement. The Bank is now set to begin the implementation of its US$1billion Continental Transit Guarantee Scheme, of which about US$200 million is earmarked for the COMESA region. The Agreement was by Professor Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank and Dr. Elirehima Joshuo Doriye, Chairperson of the Council of Regional Customs Transit Guarantee (RCTG). The scheme sets the stage for…

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African Union to set up infrastructure fund for the continent

ETHIOPIA – The African Union is setting up a fund to finance the construction of much-needed roads, railways and power plants on the continent, the body’s infrastructure head said, turning to new sources of cash due to donor fatigue and higher debt levels. The African continent has an estimated annual infrastructure financing deficit of US$60 billion to $90 billion, the AU says, making it hard for the body to advance its goal of integrating the disparate individual markets into a single, free trade area. “Africa is financially starved as far…

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Car maker Mobius opens new US$3m factory in Nairobi

KENYA – Carmaker Mobius Motors has opened a new US$ million manufacturing plant in Nairobi with the firm’s Chief Operating Officer Nicolas Guibert saying during the factory’s launch that at least eight units will be produced from the Mombasa Road plant daily. He said the company will double its workforce once the factory is fully operational. “I would like to thank Treasury and the Ministry of Industrialization for the support they have given us as we built the design of the new car, Mobius II, and worked hard to establish…

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Zimbabwe to open up 97% market for free trade under AfCFTA

ZIMBABWE – The government of Zimbabwe is set to open up 97% of its markets to both imports and exports for goods originating from within the continent under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement AfCFTA. AfCFTA is the brainchild of the African Union and was initiated in 2012 with the objective of establishing a single trading bloc which enjoys lowered trade barriers across the continent. The trading block brings together the continent’s 55 nations, creating a total 1 billion customers for Africa’s goods and services through a lucrative US$3.4…

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Ethiopian Airlines-DHL, AeTrade Group partner to transport historical parcels under AfCFTA

ETHIOPIA – Ethiopian Airlines-DHL and African Electronic Trade (AeTrade) Group have partnered to transport historical parcels in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). During the launching ceremony of AfCFTA Start of Trading 2021 on January 1, Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam said the partnership aimed to invoke the start of trading of AfCFTA market and the operations of the African e-commerce platform in the continent, according to a joint statement issued by the involved partners. The partnership with the African Electronic Trade Group and DHL is crucial as Ethiopia…

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Trading under the AfCFTA takes effect from January 1

AFRICA – Trading under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) began on January 1, 2021, unlocking opportunities for liberalized trade for the continent’s private and public sectors. The trading scheduled to start in July 2019 delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The trade commencement opens a single continent market estimated at US$3 trillion, opening intra-African exports worth over US$84 billion. Beyond trade, the deal will have multiple benefits, such as unlocking over 2 million jobs in Eastern Africa and generating welfare gains of up to US$1.8 billion in the region. Intra-African…

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ECA launches e-commerce platform to facilitate AfCFTA transactions

AFRICA – The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched ATEX, a business-to-business e-commerce platform that seeks to facilitate trading between buyers and suppliers after African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) comes into effect. ATEX’s main objective is to improve cross-border trade and provide businesses with quality products from verified African suppliers in an efficient way at reduced average trading costs based on AfCFTA rules. For the project, ECA has partnered with the Afreximbank, which will serve as broker for most of the payment systems and the logistics. According to the United…

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A single currency market will aid in the smooth running of the AfCFTA – Ghanaian President

AFRICA – Ghana’s President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said Africa playing host to several currencies impedes the effective implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The Ghanaian President opined that a single currency market like the one implemented in the European Union will aid in the smooth running of the AfCFTA. President Akufo-Addo made this known in a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, at a coordination meeting of the AU Financial Institutions, in…

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World’s largest free trade pact, AfCFTA to launch first commercial deal in 2021

AFRICA – The African Union has announced that the first commercial deal of the world’s biggest free-trade pact, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), will be taking off on January 1, 2021. The African Union further revealed that virtual meetings will be used to complete the pending discussions and negotiations with all member states. The free trade agreement, which was signed last year and was supposed to take off on July 1, this year, has been delayed due to the corona virus pandemic that has set back negotiations on…

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