Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) Secretariat has entered into an agreement with McDan Group for the transportation of goods across the AfCFTA member countries.
The deal was signed on Friday at an official ceremony to launch AfCFTA’s Guided Trade Initiative in Accra.
The Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeremateng expressed his satisfaction with the arrangement, urging the many Africa ministers of trade and other stakeholders present to support private businesses in their respective countries to take advantage of the AfCFTA.
“McDan enterprise who is signing an agreement with AfCTA is investing in cargo planes and sea freight vessels specifically to support the AfCFTA and I think that this should be a call for other entrepreneurs across the continent to start investing in this transport and logistics services,” he said.
Alan Kyeremanteng further noted that many African countries are yet to commit fully to the AfCFTA initiative due to logistical and structural problems but with the right private sector partnerships that will be resolved. He also encouraged member states to get involved to begin trading.
“Eight countries out of 44 that have ratified trading agreement should not satisfy us. It should be possible for all state parties to be involved in the trading,” he said.
The Secretary General of AfCFTA, Wamkele Mene said ensuring full intra-Africa trade will be a difficult task but the secretariat is determined to see it through.
“There will be disagreements, disillusionments, and economic setbacks but our resolve must not be tested by the challenges ahead, it must be tested by our commitment to uplift millions of Africans out of poverty,” he said in Accra.
“We know the challenges that relate to logistics in Africa, connectivity issues. I want to thank the CEO of McDan Aviation, Daniel McKorley for having the vision to step up to advance the objectives of the AfCFTA. We invite other logistics company around the African continent to join this initiative.”
McDan Group’s McDan Aviation and McDan Shipping will make available shipping vessels and a cargo plane to load and transport goods under the guided trade initiative from one member state to the other.
96 different products have been selected to be traded under AfCFTA’s Guided Trade Initiative.
Eight countries; Ghana, Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Mauritius, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Tunisia will be traded under the new arrangement.
Already, Kenya has shipped Exide batteries worth $77,000 and tea to Ghana under the arrangement.
Chinese-owned Keda Ceramics in Ghana is also exporting ceramic tiles to Cameroon.
Rwanda is also sending Coffee products to Ghana.
Ghana’s Benso Oil Palm Plantation is also planning to export palm kernel oil to Kenya.
Other products that are being traded under the Guided Trade Initiative is sugar, pasta, glucose syrup, dried fruits, and sisal fibre.