KAMPALA – The Cabinet Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Hon. Amelia Kyambadde has on June 27 educated the public about the benefits of Continental Free Trade Area.
In a televised manner, the minister said that the Continental Free Trade Area is a trade agreement with no price control.
“It’s a broader market for us because it comprises of 55 countries. This means we can do business and trade together,” she said.
Ms. Amelia said, “Instead of our youth going to UAE to suffer, they’ll be able to offer services to other African countries. There’s hope for the youth. “
When asked if a feasibility study was done before signing the agreement, Ms. Amelia said it took them about 3 years adding that Uganda has the infrastructure to facilitate the Free Trade Area.
“We are one of the few countries advanced in trade programs. We have been an example for other countries. We already have a one border post that is easing trade facilitation,” Amelia remarked.
She said Uganda has already outlined the commodities they want to market which include coffee and tea, dairy products, beef products.
“Ever since we started negotiating, all African countries have aggressively gone into infrastructural development. There are challenges but we need a broader market. We can’t confine ourselves to just the East African Community,” Amelia said.
She has encouraged Ugandans to take goods to any African country that has ratified.
The Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) entered into force on 30 May 2019 for the 24 countries that had deposited their instruments of ratification.
This date marked 30 days after 22 countries had deposited their ratification instruments with the African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson – the designated depositary for this purpose, as stipulated in Article 23 of the Agreement.
The 22-country threshold was reached on 29 April 2019 when Sierra Leone and the Saharawi Republic deposited their instruments of ratification with the depositary.
Since then, Zimbabwe and Burkina Faso have also deposited their instruments of ratification, bringing the total number of countries to have deposited their ratification instruments to 24.
More countries are expected to do so before the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union on the AfCFTA in Niamey, Niger on 7 July 2019.