Adnan Adams Mohammed
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) secretariat has disclosed that, the free trade facilitation among African countries will start January 2021 as its budget has been approved for the secretariat operations.
To this, the secretariat will soon start advertise various administrative, professional and technical vacant positions in order to get qualified persons to assist in the smooth operations.
This means, starting next year, trans-border traders within the African continent will start enjoying better, relaxed and reduced trade tariffs, transit cargo regulations and customs and trade impasse settlement. The AfCFTA has a wide range of instruments that put in place a robust and comprehensive trade regime that facilitates trade through simplified and digitized documents and procedures, ensures benefit for small to medium scale enterprises (SMEs) and by prioritizing the products they trade for interventions and liberalization.
“Budget for the secretariat has been approved and in the next few weeks we shall be in the position to start advertising positions both the ones that are the professional levels and those that will be support staffs”, The Secretary-General, Wamkele Mene revealed at a media engagement last week in Accra. Adding that, Nigeria has agreed to ratify the Agreement at next extra-ordinary session of the AU head of States meeting.
He further noted that mentorship will be provided to young trained professionals.
“Specifically for people that come from the universities so that they have opportunities to work with us for a year.
“The idea is to build the spirit of young country professionals so that after the period that they spend with us they can either be absorbed into the secretariat or they can joined the private sector,” he said.
The AfCFTA is a free trade area which, as of 2018, includes 28 countries. It was created by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement among 54 of the 55 African Union nations.
The free-trade area is the largest in the world in terms of the number of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organization.
Accra, Ghana serves as the Secretariat of AFCFTA and was commissioned and handed over to the African Union (AU) by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on August 18, 2020 in Accra.