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Africa Free Trade Agreement: President Adesina Receives Award For Strong Leadership And Support

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African Development Bank President Akinwumi A. Adesina and 10 African Heads of State and Government were on Friday honoured  for their leadership in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) process.

The AfCFTA, the largest free trade area in the world, began trading on 1 January 2021 and is expected to speed up the recovery of the continent and enhance its resilience by increasing the level of intra-African trade in goods and services.

The award was organised by AeTrade Group in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the African Business Council, the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and the East African Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture.

“As Africans, we are proud of the extraordinary effort made by our leaders towards the success of the AfCFTA,” said former Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Boshe at an event held at the Addis Ababa headquarters of the African Union and joined virtually  by many participants.

Boshe, a patron of the AeTrade Group, thanked the awardees for their strong leadership in the process that led to the AfCFTA coming into force.

Ambassador Albert Muchanga, African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry, noted that the AfCFTA had generated strong support in Africa and the Diaspora, “and we are proud to acknowledge our champions who have been at the forefront of this process.”

He took the opportunity to thank the heads of state and governments whose countries have ratified the Free Trade Agreement and invited others to follow suit.

“We are also celebrating the key milestones achieved from when we laid the foundation for the initiative to the official start of trading on January 1. I would like to call on governments and the private sector to take advantage of the opportunities created by the continental initiative to make Africa more prosperous,” added Muchanga.

The Chairman of the AeTrade Group, Mulualem Syoum, thanked the African Development Bank, under the leadership of Dr. Adesina, for its outstanding technical guidance and financial support to the process.

“Moving forward, we want the private sector to speak with one voice.  The AfCFTA has shown the way. To ensure effective implementation, it is time for the private sector to play its role. The Africa that we want can only be achieved through working together,” Syoum said. “We are confident that there is no need for Africa to depend on aid. We can spur domestic mobilization of resources and synergies.”

Dr. Amany Asfour, Interim Chair of the African Business Council, emphasized the role of the private sector in implementing the AfCFTA. “We in the private sector are committed to the implementation of this initiative. We will support Africa to actualise the free trade area.”

Hajiya Saratu Aliyu, President of the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and Charles Kahuthu, CEO of the East African Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, echoed Asfour’s sentiments.

“Jobs have to be restored and livelihoods and economies revived,” Kahuthu said. “We also need to come together to promote products made in Africa to effectively implement the AfCFTA.”

The awardees included Felix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo and incoming Chairperson of the African Union; Egyptian President Ahmed Fattah Al-Sisi; His Majesty King Mswati III, Ngwenyama of Eswatini; Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia; Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana; Alpha Conde, President of Guinea; Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Niger; Muhamadu Buhari, President of Nigeria; Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, and Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa, Chairperson of the African Union.

Two former heads of state, Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, and Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, were also honoured.

AeTrade Group is a multi-stakeholder group of African Diaspora professionals and businesspeople, with affiliation to the African Union Commission.

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Business

Rwanda, DPWorld Launch Global E-commerce Platform For Rwandan Products

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Rwanda Development Board, (RDB) and Dubai Ports World (DP World) have launched a new global e-commerce platform, www.dubuy.com, that will market Rwandan products to the global market place.

The launch comes after RDB and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in December, 2020 to launch the new global B2B and B2C e-commerce platform to make it easier for Rwandan businesses to engage in international trade.

Dubai Ports World is an Emirati multinational logistics company based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It specialises in cargo logistics, port terminal operations, maritime services and free trade zones.

Rwanda now becomes DP World’s hub for expanding e-commerce across the East Africa Community and beyond. Rwandan businesses will also benefit from broader DP World services and investment that will help to facilitate and develop trade.

This includes the promotion of Rwandan exports of coffee, tea, and horticulture on Dubuy.com, modernising of Rwanda’s supply chain logistics including in rural areas, and access to digital tools to help businesses save money and expand their reach to local, regional, and global markets.

“We have robust infrastructure to support logistics in Rwanda and we are committed to reducing the cost of logistics, enabling Rwanda to become a regional logistics hub,” Summit Bhardwaj, CEO of DP World Rwanda, said during the launch that was held virtually on Wednesday morning March 3, 2021 between Rwandan officials and DP World Executives.  

RDB Deputy CEO, Zephanie Niyonkuru and Rwanda’s Ambassador to the UAE, Emanuel Hategeka, were part of the launch.

Niyonkuru said that Dubuy.com is a great addition to Rwanda’s local and regional trade activities and as a country promoting the manufacturing of products for export. “We believe it will help us quicken the process of connecting buyers and sellers,” he said. “The real work has now started and we need to make sure that many companies sign up and access global markets. We also hope that through the platform, we’ll be able to reduce the overall cost of trade.”

Ambassador Hategeka who has been instrumental in securing this partnership said that, “We are honored that Rwanda is the first country of launch for http://dubuy.com in the region. E-commerce platforms like this are needed now more than ever before as we respond to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

This launch follows also another development where Rwanda’s products are now listed on the most popular e-commerce platforms in Singapore such as Red Mart and Shopee Singapore as well as s major Singapore’s largest grocery retail shops.

In January, this year, the on-going Campaign to promote Rwandan Coffee and other products in Japan, Ambassador Ernest Rwamucyo met with Yoshiaki Kawashima, President, Mi Cafeto, and Special Advisor to JICA on Coffee Value Chain Development Project to explore how more coffee could be accessed in Japan.

Sales of Rwandan coffee in China via online platforms belonging to China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba increased by 400 percent in 2020, according to Alibaba.

Amb. James Kimonyo, Rwandan envoy to China (centre) with Xueli Cherie, a Chinese online influencer, and Sam Abikunda, Commercial Attaché at the embassy during a live streaming promotion event in China. / Photo: Courtesy.
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Rwanda’s Weekly Agro Exports Performance

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Last week Rwanda shipped out various tonnes of horticultural products coffee and tea fetching an impressive amount of foreign revenue.

According to National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) mandated to develop and enhance Rwanda’s agricultural exports, Last week Rwanda exported 255,298Kg of horticultural products which earned U$441,679.

Details show the Main Countries of destination of Rwanda’s horticultural products were mainly Holland, United Kingdom, DRC, Germany, among others including USA, UAE, France, Uganda, Belgium, Tanzania and Denmark.

A total of 431,107Kg of Rwanda Coffee worth U$1,383,622 was exported compared to previous week, export quantities and revenues increased by 86.2% and 83.9% respectively. 52.2% of the consignment was fully washed. Destinations: China, UK, Belgium, Russia, Kenya, South Sudan & Nigeria.

Meanwhile, 449,000Kg of Rwanda Tea  were exported generating U$1,146,118. Compared to last week, the average price slightly reduced from U$2.78/Kg to U$2.5/Kg. Main country buyers were Pakistan, and UK among others.

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Tanzania Unveils Aggressive Plan For Livestock

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Tanzania has announced that it is seeking to revamp its livestock subsector with the aim of making it more profitable.

Dr. Jonas Kizima the Acting Director-General of Tanzania Livestock Research Institute (Taliri) said on Tuesday that Preliminary studies have discovered that most industries in the livestock products category are performing shoddily due to poor production and supply of raw materials.

The Tanzanian government said it is embarking on implementing a special five-year programme (2021-2025) to push for improvement of the livestock industry.

“The programme seeks to enable stakeholders in the beef and dairy cattle chains in all regions of to improve their performance by adopting better technologies and practices so that they can stand a professional chance to meet actual raw material demand in the livestock industry,” Dr. Jonas Kizima said.

Tanzania is therefore arguing that it is going to introduce and help livestock keepers across the country to raise hybrid animals, provide best animal health services, animal compounded and feeds, put in place animal husbandry infrastructure, improve milk handling, grazing systems and maintain good diary animal genetics.

“Inbreeding is the biggest technical challenge livestock keepers are facing- it is detrimental to livestock,” Dr Kizima noted.

The new agenda is in compliance with President John Magufuli’s directive issued to revive and promote animal industries for the next five years in the coastal East African country.

According to Concerns by Magufuli at least 90% of animal skins and skins produced in Tanzania were of very poor quality due to poor slaughtering methods.

Magufuli says he is seeking to motivate investors from within and outside the country to invest in meat industries, but also in leather production and other animal products such as hoofs.

Under this new program, Tanzania wants to construct seven major abattoirs in different regions with the capacity to slaughter at least 6700 cows and 11000 goats per day.

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