The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is set to create a significant free trade area encompassing 1.3 billion people, with the aim of boosting trade and economic growth across the African continent.
To further this objective, AfCFTA, with support from the World Food Programme (WFP) and in collaboration with the Ghana Community Exchange, recently brought together heads of African commodities exchanges and related entities in Accra, Ghana.
The goal of the gathering was to establish an Association of African Commodities Exchanges under the AfCFTA umbrella.
AfCFTA seeks to eliminate barriers to trade in Africa, with a specific focus on enhancing intra-Africa trade, particularly in value-added production, and across all sectors of Africa’s economy.
The Zimbabwe Mercantile Exchange (ZMX), alongside 15 other African commodity exchanges, actively participated in the forum held in Ghana and subsequently became pioneer members of the General Assembly of the Association of African Commodities Exchange (A-ACX).
The meeting also saw the presence of trade ministry officials from various participating African countries.
The A-ACX aims to create a framework for the operationalization of intra-continental commodities trading under the AfCFTA protocol.
To expedite the commencement of A-ACX activities, a steering committee was formed, consisting of CEOs from five of the member commodity exchanges, including ZMX CEO Mr. Collen Tapfumaneyi. Other committee members were drawn from Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Tanzania.
Participants at the forum included trade ministry officials from various African countries, indicating a high level of commitment to this initiative.
Among the key next steps adopted by the A-ACX is the signing of a memorandum of understanding at a trade meeting in Cairo, which will formalize the A-ACX.
The association plans to engage stakeholders in each country to share vital insights into the technicalities of intra-continental commodity trading, settlement, and logistics modalities.
In an interview, Mr. Tapfumaneyi highlighted the significance of the A-ACX’s establishment and its potential to promote intra-African trade in commodities and related services.
He emphasized that the A-ACX’s objectives align with those of AfCFTA and that the association aims to enhance economic growth and promote collaboration, knowledge sharing, capacity building, and the adoption of best practices among member exchanges.
The initiative also seeks to enhance food security, support sustainability and ethical practices in commodity production and trade, and increase the visibility of African commodity exchanges, thereby facilitating intra-African trade.
This development marks an important step forward in promoting economic growth and trade within the African continent, with Zimbabwe actively participating and contributing to this crucial endeavor.
This story has been adopted from The Herald-Zimbabwe.