The Union of African Shippers’ Councils (UASC) and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to help facilitate the movement of goods on the continent in a quicker manner. The MoU seeks to set the legal framework which binds both parties to support each other achieve mutual benefits aimed at growing intra-Africa trade.
At a short event at the AfCFTA’s Secretariat in Accra, its Secretary General Wamkele Mene noted that transport infrastructure, and trade facilitation measures are key to achieving the objectives of the AfCFTA, and it would require the involvement of all stakeholders (private and public) at the continental, regional and national levels.
“In this regard the MoU between the AfCFTA Secretariat and the UASC is a step in the right direction as areas of cooperation include carriage of goods along the entire supply chain, trade facilitation, the elimination of non-tariff barriers, and the promotion of intra-African trade among others,” Mr. Mene said.
President of the UASC, Patient Sayiba Tambwe, on his part, said the AfCFTA has come to stay and its success depends on collaboration like this.
“We have to help the AfCFTA for the implementation of the agreement but also we want the secretariat to help us to expand as a union. Currently, we are dominant in Western and Central Africa and we want to ride of the back of the secretariat to be well represented across Africa so as we can deliver better and wider opportunities on the continent,” he said.
He is hopeful that the MoU would lead to the two bodies sharing data and information geared at achieving trade facilitation goals. He also believes the MOU would lead to joint workshops that would help in sensitization.