Gov't moves closer to sealing African trade deal

Counting down: Botswana remains one of a few countries in Africa that have not yet ratified the AfCFTA PIC: TRALAC.ORG
Counting down: Botswana remains one of a few countries in Africa that have not yet ratified the AfCFTA PIC: TRALAC.ORG

Negotiators at the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry say the country is 'months away' from finalising negotiations that will result in formal ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), a trade deal that grants easier market access to the continent’s 1.2 billion people.

Botswana is one of 13 countries left on the continent that are yet to ratify the AfCFTA deal sealed by countries on the continent in 2018 in Rwanda. While Botswana signed the text of the 2018 agreement together with the majority of the continent, the country is still negotiating the final terms of how it wants to trade with Africa under the AfCFTA.

Countries that are yet to ratify the AfCFTA have until June this year to finalise the negotiations. The ministry’s chief negotiator, Phadza Butale said the outstanding issues were negotiations over trade in goods, rules of origin and trade in services. “In terms of our tariff offer for trade in goods, we submitted our offer and it did not pass and we have gone back to the drawing board to try and recraft the offer so that it meets the verification test at the African Union Commission,” Butale told last week’s meeting held to develop a local AfCFTA strategy. “We are at a very advanced stage of finalising this offer and we hope to submit it to the AU Commission and hopefully it passes the verification test. “Once it does that, we will be in a position to trade under the AfCFTA and we will change our tariff book to go in line with the offers we have made.

Editor's Comment
Respect public institutions Mr Pres

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