Kenya starts trading under AfCFTA in locally made batteries

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept. 23 (Reuters) – Kenya-made Exide batteries landed at the port of Tema, Ghana on Friday, marking the country’s formal start of trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Kenya’s High Commissioner for Ghana HE Amb. Eliphas Barine witnessed the unveiling of the cargo by a representative of Kenya’s Associated Battery Manufacturing EA Ltd, who handed over the shipment to the importer, Gifty Fianu of Yesudem Company Ltd, Ghana.

Kenya is among the six countries selected to participate in the pilot phase of the AfCFTA Guided Trading Initiative, which is based on the finding that no trading took place a year and a half after the launch of AfCFTA preferential trading on January 1, 2021.

The other five countries are Cameron, Egypt, Ghana, Rwanda and Tanzania.

The initiative is a program to boost trade between and between States Parties that have signaled their willingness to engage in economically meaningful relationships through the use of AfCFTA preferences.

The six pilot countries must identify products that have access to the markets of the pilot countries.

Through an ad hoc committee formed to lead this initiative, Kenya has identified several products for this initiative.

These include tea, Exide batteries, confectionery, leather bags, incinerators, beaded products, vehicle filters, textiles, sisal fiber, avocados and fresh produce.

Associated Battery Manufacturing EA Ltd is the first Kenyan company to start trading under AfCFTA. It is also the first local company to have exported Exide batteries to the Ghanaian market.

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“Kenya and Ghana are keen to use the AfCFTA agreement to create jobs and markets for their goods and services, thereby maintaining prosperity on the African continent,” Kenya’s Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development said in an explanation.

Statistics show that the AfCFTA creates a large domestic market with a population of over 1.2 billion people and a total GDP of about US$2.5 trillion (Shh303.2 trillion).

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