Namibian businesses urged to get ready for AfCFTA trading – The Namibian
NAMIBIAN businesses need to be ready to trade within the African Continental Free Trade Area.
This is because heads of state are expected resolve the few restrictions that would allow trade to begin.
This was confirmed last week by Asser Nahikaku, the deputy Director for Trade Agreements in the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade at an AfCTA awareness meeting at Swakopmund.
“The heads of state are going to meet on 26 October to adopt the offers by member states. This would be the perfect opportunity to allow traders to begin trading. As far as Namibia is concerned, we are ready,” he said.
Nashikaku stated that Namibia has not made a formal offer to trade goods with Namibia, as negotiations are taking place within the framework the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu).
AfCFTA is a trade deal between African countries that removes trade barriers within Africa.
Currently, 43 countries ratify the agreement.
Nashikaku stated that this intention is to be finalized before the meeting of heads of state.
He stated that Namibia’s service offerings, such as in the transportation, financial, and tourism industries, were concluded and are expected to be adopted.
“This is a bigger market and Africans should now be able to trade with each other. What we are going to do is reduce barriers to trade,” he said.
However, rules regarding origin issues are still to be finalised.
Maria Immanuel is the technical advisor at the Agriculture Trade Forum. She stated that trade cannot happen if the rules regarding origin are not in place.
Namibia has yet to implement this law.
“We have not yet as Namibians in terms of the law signed that. We still need to have the process that allows commercial businesses to trade officially.
“The agreement (AfCFTA) is partially implemented, and those countries that are more or less ready can start trading,” she said.
The information-sharing sessions were attended mainly by women with established businesses and older people.
Immanuel stated that young people should not be afraid to attend these events.
“We have leveraged social media where they are, but maybe it’s an issue of interest, or don’t they see the benefit immediately? It starts with attending information sessions – even if you have no company registered,” she said.