Wamkele Mene made the remarks during a celebration marking the launch of the first trade agreement under the AfCFTA umbrella. The agreement is part of the guided trade initiative launched at the 10th AfCFTA Africa Trade Ministerial Meeting on October 7 in the Ghanaian capital Accra.
“What we have achieved now in African integration has always been a goal dreamed of by the founding fathers of the Organization of African Unity since 1963,” Mene added.
The deal, Mene noted, is not just about free trade and the flow of hundreds of thousands of goods, but rather “an indication that we have a vision and are capable of realizing it and liberating our continent.” by linking its links to each other.”
The initiative will also help “stop the death boats that Africans are going towards them and end up losing their lives in the Mediterranean”, he added, assuring that African integration should be a tool to reduce poverty. and for well-being. of the peoples of the continent.
The Secretary General said it had taken five years of work under the leadership and support of the President of Ghana, whose country is the headquarters of the organization, to reach an agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area with rules of origin that govern entry into the African market.
The celebration included the inauguration of an exhibition of African products at Kotoko airport as well as performances of the most famous dances and music of Ghanaian folklore.
The newly launched initiative included the launch of the first expeditions between Ghana, Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Mauritius, Rwanda and Tanzania under the AfCFTA.
The shipments include 96 products, Mene added at Friday’s event, expressing hope that the number will double next year.
The initiative symbolizes the start of meaningful trade on a pilot basis between the seven nations that have been selected to represent the five regions of the African Union, namely: West, Central, East, Southern and Northern Africa, respectively.
The AfCFTA, which aims to boost intra-African trade, has been ratified by 44 countries and entered into force in May 2019 and is expected to be the largest free trade bloc in the world.