Kenya’s fate to host the secretariat of Africa’s Free Trade zone will be known in August.
A team of African Union assessors who are currently in the country have given Nairobi thumbs up saying will retreat to write their recommendations.
The secretariat will be tasked with coordinating activities of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area which seeks to create the biggest borderless economic bloc in the world.
The Africa Continental Free Trade Area seeks to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, and thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the Continental Customs Union and the African customs union.
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Signed by 52 of the 55 African countries, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area will create a Ksh300 trillion shillings free-trade zone.
It also seeks to expand intra African trade through better harmonization and coordination of trade liberalization and facilitation regimes.
Kenya is among six countries including Ethiopia, Ghana, Egypt, Senegal and Madagascar, who are bidding to host the Africa Continental Free Trade Area secretariat.
Kenya’s push to host the secretariat is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which today hosted the technical team from the Africa Union headquarters assessing all bidding countries.
The team is expected to write its report next month before the host country is announced in August.
Amb. Kamau says hosting the secretariat would cement Kenya’s role as a lead country in trade and multilateralism but it would also avail Africa the best venue and the best opportunity to grow free trade to its full potential.
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