Coffee to trade under AfCFTA market from July
COFFEE will be the first Tanzania’s product to trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) market in July this year, the Minister for Investment, Industry and Trade, Dr Ashatu Kijaji has said.
Recently, the government announced that from July 1st, this year, it will start exporting ten types of products to the AfCFTA market for the country to benefit from an integrated African market of over 1.3 billion people.
“We already have the first product that we will export first and that is coffee and we will not send it in raw form, we will send the finished product,” said the Minister in Dar es Salaam yesterday when she was speaking to members of the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) at the meeting that was also attended by the Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Mwigulu Nchemba.
Dr Kijaji said that Tanzania is among the first seven countries that were given priority to send products to the market and asked the business community to take advantage of this rare opportunity.
“We already met in January with business community and industrialists and today (yesterday) is our third session to meet with stakeholders, industrial producers and traders to inform each other about what is needed for the country to reap the benefits that will be brought about by the AfCFTA,” she said.
She mentioned another product that is earmarked to be exported to the market as marble and that the government is negotiating with local producers to scale up production ready for export.
“There are other products that we are still discussing with the producers, I will not reveal them today, but in general, we are ready to enter in this market with ten types of products from July 1st, this year. We continue to enlighten our producers about what is needed and things to consider in the market,” she said.
“Let me assure our industrial producers and other producers that the government is ready and this kind of meetings will be sustainable, we will continue to exchange information and as President Samia Suluhu Hassan said we should not be observes in this market of 1.3 billion people, rather fully take advantage to exploit the market by selling our products to the full potential,” he said.
CTI Executive Director Leodegar Tenga said the meeting has been of great benefit because the industrialists got opportunity to explain to the two ministers about the hardship they get from conducting daily activities. They got clarifications.
Mr Tenga said the goal of the meeting was to ensure that they create an enabling environment for good business practices that attract local and foreign investments.
“It has also been a good opportunity for industrialists and businesspersons to thank the government for the good things it is doing and also to remind the government of the existing challenges, which need immediate attention,” he said.
He said that many of the challenges that businesspersons were facing have been addressed by the government, but he requested that the remaining challenges should be dealt with quickly in order to attract a good number of investments.
He also insisted on members of CTI to ensure they produce goods with high quality for them to compete in the international markets.
“It is important that we produce quality and affordable products so that they can attract large markets in East Africa Community (EAC), Southern African Development Community (SADC), AfCFTA and the rest of the world,” he said.
Tanzania submitted the instruments of its ratification of the AfCFTA agreement to the African Union Commission (AUC) in January last year.
Ratifying the AfCFTA agreement showed the readiness of Tanzania to access the market of over 1.3 billion people across the continent. The AfCFTA would foster the free movement of goods, services, and people across borders and help meet the continent’s enormous economic potential.