NAIROBI, Kenya June 30 – African countries are working on non-tariffs that will boost manufacturing to enable the continent to meet the demand and supply of goods and services in the African market.
Director of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) for the sub-regional office for East Africa, Mama Keita, said there is need for Africa to develop value chains regions on demand and supply to avoid importing them from abroad.
She said the supply chain on the continent has been disrupted as some countries are exporting the manufactured goods needed in Africa abroad instead of marketing them on the continent where they are mainly needed.
“We are working to establish a digital demand and supply platform where African Continental Free Trade Countries (AfCFTA) can come together and resolve supply issues to bring supply and demand in member states at the same level,” Keita said.
The director who was speaking at the private sector sensitization workshop on Kenya’s African Continental Free Trade Area implementation strategy, held at a hotel in Nairobi, said there was a need for the continent is increasing its production capacity as this will help countries to be competitive in the market. .
“Currently Africa is trading with each other, a need for the AfCFTA to promote value chains for countries to move out of the current bloc and regionalize value chains,” she said.
In his remarks, the Economic Advisor to the United Nations Development Program in Kenya, Bheki Bhembe, praised Kenya’s M-PESA mobile money service and recommended that it be expanded across the continent for mobile money transactions. quick money by entrepreneurs.
He said there is also a need for capacity building on the continent and inter-state collaboration between law enforcement officials as this will help to appreciate the continental free trade area and avoid obstacles. that hinder trade.
AfCFTA Chief Negotiator Josiah Rotich said the AfCFTA is in the process of identifying the challenges hampering trade on the continent and in particular, the cost of doing business in Kenya so that it can be implemented in the national implementation strategy to facilitate an expansion of the country’s trade and investment in Africa.
“We want to help private companies do business by reducing the costs of doing business, such as reducing electricity costs and by educating entrepreneurs to understand rules of origin and how to implement them,” added rotich.
“There must be coexistence because Africa has the same protocols. They should be implemented without conflicting rules of origin during negotiations. The private sector must harmonize them so that there is no room to manipulate them,” he said.
He at the same time said that the national implementation strategy of the AfCFTA of Kenya also aims to address the disparities in terms of opportunities that women and youth face when doing business to enable them to benefit Trade.
Walter Kamau, the Kenya Manufacturers Association and policy adviser who represented the private sector, called on the AfCFTA to address the challenges of cultural differences, market access, financial and technological access on the continent in a holistically in order to remove barriers that impede trade.
“Government should address business competitiveness and help manufacturing and involve small and medium enterprises to participate,” Kamau said.
He also urged the government to identify market opportunities and raise awareness among youth and small and medium enterprises by providing information to all operators, including the portal and rules of origin.