Zambia nears domestication of African Continental Free Trade Area agreement


Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister, Chipoka Mulenga, has said Zambia is almost concluding the domestication process of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

Mulenga pointed out that the relevant instruments for domestication had undergone national consultations and were now before the Ministry of Justice for clearance.

He said this on the margins of the 13th Meeting of the AfCFTA Council of Ministers Responsible for Trade on Tuesday.

The meeting was scheduled to take place from January 30, January 31, 2024 in South Africa.

Mulenga also announced that Zambia would soon express interest to join State Parties piloting the Guided Trade Initiative (GTI).

On the meeting, the Minister stressed that it marked another milestone in Zambia’s quest to unlock Africa’s trade potential through the AfCFTA.

Mulenga is leading Zambian delegation.

He acknowledged that the continent had embarked on the gradual elimination of tariffs on 90 percent of goods, and the reduction of barriers to trade in services aimed at increasing Africa’s income by US$450 billion by 2035.

Mulenga noted that these efforts were meant to boost intra-African trade.

“The successful implementation of the AfCFTA will lead to the creation of more decent jobs, improved welfare and better quality of life for all citizenry, and sustainable development,” he said.

He explained that it was for this reason that Zambia was committed to participating in the GTI and the fully flagged Free Trade Area (FTA).

The Minister, therefore, urged Council Members on the need to adopt progressive provisions on the proposed rules of origin for certain products.

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