TNC…where curious minds can access wholesome news commentary

TNC…where curious minds can access wholesome news commentary

aa-logo-rgba-no-text-square.png

Africa: AfCFTA States Terms for Members in Other Pacts

African countries negotiating free trade agreements with parties from other parts of the world will be required to grant the same preferences or better terms to African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) member states.

The AfCFTA Secretary General Wamkele Keabetswe Mene, referring to Kenya, which is currently negotiating a free trade agreement with the US, said the same preferences granted to America should be given to African countries.

“Any country, any state party is within their legal rights to negotiate with a country outside of the AfCFTA Treaty, as long as you provide better or similar treatment to the AfCFTA party that you are intending to provide to a third party,” said Mr Mene.

He was responding to fears that the ongoing trade talks between Kenya and the US would undermine the Treaty seeing as Kenya also has obligations as a member of the EAC Customs Union.

Mr Mene said the matter was discussed and the rule was agreed upon at the Heads of State summit that met in July 2019. He added that during the 2019 AfCFTA summit, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta discussed the US agreement with African leaders, who had no objection to it.

Trade deal

President Kenyatta has also sought to dispel fears that the ongoing trade talks between Kenya and the US will undermine the AfCFTA. He says Kenya’s trade deal with the US will assist the continent more broadly by creating a reference upon which other African nations can negotiate bilateral arrangements within the AfCFTA framework going forward.