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Africa: further steps forward towards the continental free trade area

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Rwanda recently signed an agreement with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCfta) Secretariat and Afreximbank to welcome the $10 billion Adjustment Fund aimed at supporting all initiatives geared towards the implementation of the AfCfta, mitigating the near-term impact of potential losses of states parties’ tariff revenues, infrastructure deficits to facilitate trade growth, and possible supply chain disruptions that countries may face in implementing the Accord.

During the launch of the Fund, Dennis Karera, the vice president of the East African Business Council (EABC), the regional top body of private sector and business associations of the seven member countries of the East African Community (EAC), expressed Wamkele Mene, the Secretary General of the AfCfta, his satisfaction with the continued involvement of the private sector in the process of implementing the free trade area, above all, for supporting the introduction of the AfCfta’s Guided Trade Initiative which has practically enabled businesses to trade, inviting the private sector in the EAC region to seize the opportunity offered by the initiative.

The Fund, based in Kigali, Rwanda, will support African AfCfta states in adapting to the new liberalized and integrated trading environment established by the FTA, using contributions from members. The AfCfta Adjustment Fund consists of three sub-funds: Base Fund, General Fund and Credit Fund. The General Fund will finance the development of trade-enabling infrastructure, while the Credit Fund will be used to mobilize trade finance to support both the public and private sectors, enabling them to adjust and take advantage of the opportunities created by the AfCfta. The African Export Development Fund (FEDA), the impact investment arm of Afreximbank, has been selected as manager of the AfCfta Adjustment Fund.

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The AfCfta Secretariat and the Eabc will work on a joint strategy of raising awareness of the protocols and benefits of the Continental Free Trade Area aimed at the private sector. The Strategy will be launched at the forthcoming AfCfta business forum to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, from approximately 15 to 19 April. [Da Redazione InfoAfrica]

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Read the Zoom of our December issue dedicated to the continental free trade area: https://www.africaeaffari.it/rivista/golfo-chiama-africa

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