AfCFTA's promising future: Boosting African trade amidst obstacles

AFCTA-1
  • Intra-African trade is hindered by cumbersome border inspections, harassment, bribes, and poor infrastructure. 
  • The Secretary-General of the African Federation of Women Entrepreneurs emphasizes the need for improved infrastructure and the removal of tariffs to facilitate commerce. 
  • Kenya and Ghana strengthen commercial ties under AfCFTA, while Uganda sees AfCTA as a long-term solution to trade barriers with Kenya.

African trade experts have highlighted a number of obstacles preventing the intra-African market from maximizing its potential, including cumbersome border inspections, harassment, solicitation from security officers, bribes from traders, and poor roads.

This information was revealed in the most recent issue of Pathway Africa, which our correspondent acquired from the Ministry of Aviation.

“Only a few hundred kilometers separate Lagos, Nigeria, from Accra in Ghana but for the thousands of traders who ply this route, the journey through these routes can take a full day. Customs officials and police at roadblocks will make you unload and unpack every little package in order to delay you for hours,” Lucia Quachey, the secretary-general of the African Federation of Women Entrepreneurs, stated.

She also pushed for the construction of infrastructure to facilitate commerce and for the removal of several tariffs and non-tariff obstacles.

The AfCFTA initiative intends to make trade between Africa's 55 countries easier by removing obstacles and boosting business. This is expected to significantly influence the continent, its 1.3 billion people, and its estimated $3.4 trillion GDP.

A number of initiatives have found leeway under the Africa Free Trade Agreement, included in these initiatives is Kenya’s and Ghana’s potential trade pact and AfCTA as a solution to Uganda’s recent trade setback with Kenya.

In May, it was revealed that Ghana and Kenya planned to strengthen their commercial ties under the African Continental Free Commercial Area (AfCFTA) with a market entrance expedition in Nairobi. As a component of the initiative, The Ghana Trade House (GTH) was also publicly introduced. Through the creation of an Export Trade House (ETH) in late March of this year, Ghana has made plans to exploit the AfCFTA to improve its business links with Kenya.

Also, The Ugandan government sees the potential offered by the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) as the long-term solution to Kenya's unreliable non-tariff barriers (NTBs).

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