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East Africa Inches Closer to Adopting Free Trade Offer

East Africa Inches Closer to Adopting Free Trade Offer

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The East African Community (EAC) countries have made a huge step forward by adopting the bloc's tariff offer for Category A products amounting to 90.2% over 10 years, after the start of trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Category A products are those from sectors including agro processing, agriculture, transport or the automotive industry, pharmaceuticals, and textiles.

The new development was announced during an extraordinary meeting of regional Ministers of Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment at the EAC Headquarters in Tanzania.

According to officials, this means that the EAC is now among the state parties that have met the minimum requirements for Category A to start trading on a provisional basis, reports James Karuhanga for the New Times.

The AfCFTA celebrated its first anniversary on January 1, 2022. With exception of Eritrea, all African countries are signatories to the agreement. Since Africa officially started trading under AfCFTA, the practical impacts of the agreement have reportedly been minimal with novel coronavirus restrictions disrupting global supply chains, limiting AfCFTA's potential.

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