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AfCFTA: Nigeria to Begin Export to Africa in April

Nigeria is set to begin the formal export of locally produced commodities to South Africa, Rwanda, Cameroon and Kenya from April under the Guided Trade Initiative of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), says the secretary of Nigeria’s National Action Committee on the AfCFTA, Olusegun Awolowo.

“We’ve signed onto it [Guided Trade Initiative] and I think that by the end of April we are taking a few companies, big, medium and small enterprises to actually launch trading in Africa. All we are doing now is that we are going through and signing all the protocols, as well as finding a way to implement them,” said Awolowo.

Although Nigerian businesses currently export products to these countries, they make such exports not under AfCFTA rules, but beginning April, Nigerian companies will start the official and formal export of commodities to African nations under the AfCFTA treaty. The AfCFTA is the world’s largest free trade agreement which has been signed by 54 of the 55 African Union Member States just about 47 countries have ratified the agreement.

The Guided Trade Initiative, which seeks to test AfCFTA’s operational, institutional, legal and trade policy environment, intends to send a positive message to Africa’s economic operators. It was launched in October 2022 with six countries namely, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Rwanda, Tanzania and Tunisia. Although trading under the AfCFTA was officially launched in January 2021, commercially meaningful trade could not commence due to varied operational and legal challenges.

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