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Kenya: Ruto advocates tech integration to enhance AfCFTA’s trade evolution

Kenya’s President, Dr. William Samoei Ruto has advocated for the integration of technology into the trade strategy of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to boost intra-continental trade.

During a significant visit to the AfCFTA Secretariat in Accra, Mr. Ruto emphasized the importance of leveraging innovation to facilitate the movement of goods and services across the continent.

“We are great believers that technology democratises opportunities; it improves efficiency and accountability; therefore, technology is going to dictate the pace we move our goods and services,” he said.

President Ruto urged AfCFTA to collaborate closely with other agencies of the African Union (AU) to accelerate cross-border trade using technology.

His call for technological integration comes at a time when momentum is building towards the full operationalization of AfCFTA.

President Ruto highlighted the transformative potential of technology, emphasizing its capacity to streamline trade processes, enhance transparency, and improve efficiency. These factors are essential for achieving AfCFTA’s goal of establishing a single market.

He described the continent-wide free trade agreement, signed in March 2018, as a significant milestone in advancing more integrated and inclusive economic growth. President Ruto underscored the importance of skills development, market integration, diversification, and technology transfer within African economies and beyond.

“We are very proud of what the Government of Ghana has done in making sure that the secretariat is appropriately facilitated to take up its central role in the integration of the African market.

“I am pleased with a progress that has been made in laying the foundation and operationalising AfCFTA Secretariat under very difficult circumstances,” he added.

He also noted that AfCFTA represents a promise to Africans to significantly contribute to the attainment of Agenda 2063 and to ensure that no one is left behind.

“The AfCFTA agreement is expected to foster industrialisation and regional competitiveness through the creation of regional value chains and improved agro-processing and expanded markets for meaningful intra-Africa trade and jobs for young people”.

In his welcoming remarks, the Secretary-General of AfCFTA, Wamkele Mene, recognised the Republic of Kenya’s long-standing commitment to the founding objectives of the AU, which led to the establishment of AfCFTA.

Similarly, he mentioned the role played by the Republic of Ghana in the establishment and operations of AfCFTA, since 2020.

He said: “Thanks to the support we received from Ghana, we have been able to demonstrate that when Africans commit and act, we can achieve the results that we all aspire to see”.

Similarly, the Secretary-General commended President Ruto for his leadership roles both in Kenya and across the continent, as assigned to him by the AU.

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