Kenya exported its first goods under the African the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement to Ghana on Friday.
Kenyan-made Exide batteries landed in the Port of Tema on September 23 in a historic ceremony that marks Nairobi’s formal start of preferential trading under the AfCFTA agreement.
A statement from Kenya’s Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development said the products were to be received by Kenya’s High Commissioner to Ghana, Amb Eliphas Barine.
A representative of Kenya’s Associated Battery Manufacturing EA Ltd handed over the consignment to the importer, Ms Gifty Fianu of Yesudem Company Ltd, Ghana.
The ceremony was witnessed by Ambassadors of other African countries to Ghana, and the AfCFTA Secretariat.
“Kenya is among six countries selected to participate in the pilot phase of the AfCFTA Initiative on Guided Trade, formulated on realisation that no trading was taking place one-and-a-half years after the launch of AfCFTA preferential trading on 1st January, 2021,” reads a statement from Kenya’s Trade ministry.
The other five countries are Cameron, Egypt, Ghana, Rwanda and Tanzania.
“The Initiative is a programme to kick-start trade between and among State Parties that have signalled their readiness to commence commercially meaningful relations through the utilisation of AfCFTA Preferences,” the ministry added.
The six pilot countries are required to identify products that can access the markets among the pilot countries.
Through an Ad Hoc Committee formed to spearhead this initiative, Kenya has identified several products for this initiative.
They include tea, Exide batteries, confectionery, leather bags, incinerators, beaded products, vehicular filters, textiles, sisal fibre, avocados and fresh produce.
Associated Battery Manufacturing EA Ltd is the first Kenyan company to start trading under AfCFTA.
It is also the first local company to ever export Exide batteries to the Ghanaian market.
Kenya and Ghana are keen on using the AfCFTA Agreement to create jobs and market for their goods and services, thereby keeping wealth within the African continent.