Updated on : 09-05-2021
PRESS RELEASE – COMMENCEMENT OF TRADING UNDER THE AFRICAN CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA
Maseru 22nd January 2021, The Ministry of Trade and Industry wishes to inform the business community and the public in general that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is now in force and trading started on 1st Janaury,2021. The AfCFTA is a free trade agreement that has been signed by 54 out the 55 African Union countries.
Trade under the AfCFTA currently covers 81% of the products. These products will be increased to 90% of the tariff book to cover broad spectrum of trade. With a total population of over 1 billion, the AfCFTA provides a large market for Lesotho`s exports especially in her non-traditional markets in Africa. Producers (Farmers and Manufacturers) will also be able to import inputs from other African Countries at competitive rates. The AfCFTA also allows Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Lesotho to export and import across Africa.
In order to facilitate trade under this Agreement, 34 African Countries including Lesotho have deposited their instruments of ratification indicating their acceptance and willingness to start trading.
The 34 countries are Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sahawari Arab Republic, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
More information on the AfCFTA is available on the Lesotho Trade Information Portal at www.lesothotradeportal.org.ls.
For more media information please contact the following:
Issued by: Public Relations Office
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