Exports of goods from the East African Countries to Africa stand at USD 14.7 billion.
The figure comprises 36 percent of the total East African exports the world which stands at USD 40.3 billion.
Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi, including DRC this time, exports to the world precious stones, coffee, tea, cement, animal fats, mineral oils, copper, cobalt oxides and iron as well as steel.
“The Implementation of African Continental Free Trade Area is projected to increase Intra-African trade significantly, especially in manufacturing,” explains the Vice Chair of East African Business Council, Mr Simon Kaheru.
The Tanzania Times has learned that the share of intra-Africa exports to total global exports will increase in Tanzania by 28 percent, Uganda by 29 percent, and Rwanda by 33 percent, with Kenya experiencing the biggest increase of 43 percent.
East Africa as a bloc has great potential to export copper, cobalt oxides, cereals, vegetables, tea, coffee, sugar, textile products, soap, sesame seeds, edible oils, tubers and milk to both the continent and the world.
Uganda recently hosted the Private Sector Sensitization Workshop on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement on Trade in Goods Protocol.
It was organized by East African Business Council (EABC), Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), and Uganda Manufacturers Association with support from GIZ- Support to East African Integration.
“Uganda exports to Africa hit USD 1.77billion in 2021 increasing by 26 percent from USD 1.4billion in 2020 while imports stood at USD 2.47billion in 2021,” pointed out John Bosco Kalisa the EABC Executive.
Uganda has great potential to export Coffee, Milk, and sugar, beverages, iron and steel, cooking oils and cement.
Currently, Uganda’s exports of sugar to the continent are valued at USD 99.8 million and there is an untapped export potential of an additional USD 53 million of sugar exports to the continent.
Mr Lamech Wesonga, the Economic Policy Advisor on AfCFTA to the EAC reiterated GIZ’s commitment to partner with EAC Governments and the private sector to unlock opportunities in the 1.3 billion AfCFTA market.
The signature of the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on 21 March 2018 marked a historic milestone for economic integration in Africa with the intention of creating a market of 1.3 billion people with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) valued at USD 3.4 trillion.
The Agreement envisages boosting intra-African trade through the gradual elimination of tariffs on over 90 African goods and the removal of non-tariff barriers and trade restrictions on goods and services, respectively.