Horn of Africa (HoA)countries have agreed to support shared infrastructure projects to boost free trade.
Speaking in Nairobi on Wednesday at the 15th Roundtable meeting of Finance Ministers, exchequer chiefs from the six countries led by Kenya’s Njuguna Ndung’u committed to finalising mutual infrastructure projects in the next five years.
“Trade is a game of numbers. We have close to a 200 million people market, dense human resources, and plenty of natural resources. It is time we bring this to the continental business table,” Njuguna said.
Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, and Eritrea agreed to relook at their individual trade agreements and identify areas of collaboration to ease the cost of doing business for their traders while capitalising on gains originating from diverse markets.
The projected Sh40 trillion borderless market has been touted as key in reversing current trends in poverty, inequality, and growth on the continent, and helping place Africa on an inclusive and sustainable growth path.
The agreement establishing the AfCFTA was adopted in 2018 and came into force a year later.
At the time, 24 countries had deposited their instruments of ratification.
By May last year, there were 54 signatures of which 43 (80 percent) had deposited their instruments of ratification.
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