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Kenya: President Ruto urges African investors to take advantage of AfCFTA

By Presidential Communication Service

NAIROBI, Kenya, April 4 – President William Ruto has appealed to African investors and businesspeople to take advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

He pointed out that the AfCFTA eliminates barriers to trade, fosters economic growth and promotes opportunities to share wealth and prosperity in Africa.

“AfCFTA is the single most potent instrument for the transformation of Africa,” the President said.

He raised concerns over the alarmingly low level of intra-African trade, which stands at just 15 per cent, compared to over 70 per cent in the European Union.

President Ruto made the remarks during the Kenya-Ghana Business Forum in Accra, Ghana, on Wednesday.

Later, President Ruto visited the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat at Africa Trade House in Accra, Ghana.

The President asked African entrepreneurs to invest in the continent and unlock the vast untapped resources available in Africa.

He noted that Africa has 60 per cent of global renewable energy reserves and 65 per cent of uncultivated arable land, adding that the largest population will be living in Africa by 2050.

“We must use the raw materials we have to grow industry, invest in agro-processing and seek market diversification,” he said.

The Head of State invited Ghanaian investors to explore investment opportunities in Kenya, saying Kenya has entrenched technology to not only enhance service delivery, but also curb corruption.

“Technology democratises opportunities and eliminates corruption leading to better accountability,” he said.

At the same time, President Ruto called for reforms of the African Union, saying the AU is an institution that requires  better accountability.

“The Pan African Parliament is an organ of the African Union, but whose role must be reinforced. The union also needs a judicial arm which acts as a platform to adjudicate disputes,” he said.

“We must reform the African Union and make it fit for purpose,” he added.

The President said the African Union will be organising an annual four-day Africa Economic and Investment Summit and invite major powers for thorough and meaningful engagement.

President Ruto said he will work with President Nana Akufo-Addo, his host, to ensure that African financial institutions are established and ratified.

He noted that Africa spends $5 billion a year on changing one currency to another for trade and other expenditures. To alleviate this huge loss, President Ruto said this issue will be addressed by the African Export-Import Bank which provides a solution by paying for goods in any currency.

AfCFTA Secretary-General Wamkele Mene said the organisation is keen on following the European Union’s model in fostering trade between member States.

He pointed out that the free trade area agreement paved the way for the inaugural shipment of value-added tea from Nairobi to Ghana under the AfCFTA protocols in October 2022. Subsequent shipments have increased and become more regular.


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