In July 2022, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat launched the “AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative” (GTI) with the main objective to trigger commercially meaningful trade under the Agreement. Seven countries, including Rwanda, Cameroun, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius and Tanzania have been selected among 36 countries to start trading under the framework in a pilot phase. Other countries are expected to be roped in under the Guided Trade Initiative, once they are ready.
Under the initiative, the Secretariat is assisting member states in identifying companies, products, customs procedures, and logistics processes required to enable trade to happen under the AfCFTA. As at date, Egypt, Mauritius, and Rwanda have already submitted their list of products of export interest to the Secretariat.
The GTI recorded over 100 potential trade in the pipelines, with 14 companies with about 40 trades from Ghana, 27 companies with over 50 trades from Kenya, 7 Companies with 20 trades from Egypt, Mauritius with 10 potential trades, Rwanda with 8 potential trades and Cameroon with 4 trades under the pilot phase of the Initiative companies per participating countries.
Mauritius has, under the initiative, exported its first consignment under the AfCFTA preferences to Ghana consisting of printed plastic labels. Mauritius has already established its AfCFTA National Implementation Committees with the aim of facilitating the engagement of the private sector within the AfCFTA framework and in close collaboration with the Economic Development Board as well as the representatives of private sector to identify potential exporters to export to countries under the initiative, especially new markets, taking into account logistical and connectivity challenges. Work is also being undertaken in collaboration with the private sector to identify raw materials which could be imported from Africa for further processing in Mauritius
Sources : ITD