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Continental free agreement to more than triple Africa trade: CS Kiptoo

Kenya and Ghana are the first countries to ratify the agreement and have handed the documents to the African Union Commission.

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 24 –  Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo has said the Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement will boost intraregional trade by 52 percent from the current 16 percent. 

The agreement is also expected to foster a conducive environment that encourages the formation of new companies, which increases jobs.

“However you look at this, it is a win-win situation. This agreement will boost economy hence increase more revenue for African governments,” Kiptoo told a press briefing in Nairobi.  

The agreement also collapses posts which will allow for free movement of persons and goods thus encouraging trade.

As such, as long as set requirements are met, anyone can move across the border with their goods.

“We are dismantling many non-tariff barriers under this agreement as they have a been hampering trade in the region. We are also working on making clearance of goods from one boarder to the next much faster,” he said.

The agreement comes at a time when data by Trademark East Africa reveals that intra trade between African countries is was at 14 percent in 2014, marginally higher than it was in 2010 at 10 percent according to UNCTAD data.

The agreement was first proposed in 2012 with negotiations kicking off in 2015. African leaders intended the agreement to be signed by all 55 member states if the African Union, bringing together 1.2 billion people whose combined gross domestic product is more than US$2 Trillion.

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