The Minister for Foreign Affairs and East Africa Cooperation, Liberata Mulamula said this in Dar es Salaam yesterday during the Africa Day 58th anniversary at the Julius Nyerere International Conference Centre (JNICC).
On January 1 this year African countries started trading under the AfCFTA agreement as the required ratification quorum had been attained, with Tanzania signing it but not ratified it as yet.
“Once ratified, our locally manufactured products will be able to reach any African country easily. This step will move us further towards the goal of strengthening African economies,” she asserted, highlighting that 37 African countries have so far ratified the treaty.
“Tanzania is in the final stages of ratifying the agreement. We are in talks with the East African Community (EAC) partner states and we have already submitted our recommendations.”
Explaining, she said that negotiations on excise duty have reached 75 percent and discussions on the origin of goods have reached 86 percent finalisation.
For Tanzania the ratification process will be conducted via the legislature, to obtain legal seal to a situation where African countries will be able to promote trade by removing all barriers, the minister noted.
The AfCFTA agreement is good for our countries, with collective procedure for determination of taxes to be charged on the traded goods. “We used to export our products to Europe but now the market will be found within African countries,” she projected.
Once Tanzania approves the agreement, it will be an opportunity to develop the country's industries and sell value-added products across Africa instead of solely relying on imports.
On Covid-19, she said Africa was also affected by the pandemic. It is predicted that Africa will face an economic downturn by 3.3 per cent.
“Tanzania supports and commends all the efforts taken by the African Union and Africa CDC in controlling the spread of the disease as well as ensuring a large number of people have access to safe vaccines,” she declared, insisting that Tanzania will continue to take all steps to combat the disease as directed by experts.
On democracy, she affirmed that peace and security prevail in most of Africa and wars between nations are basically done with.
It was encouraging that military coups have declined dramatically over the past decade and many countries change leadership in a peaceful and democratic manner despite that certain challenges remain, the minister observed.
Tanzania has continued to work with other African countries to ensure peace, security and safety and currently the country’s troops are on African Union and international missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Darfur in Sudan and elsewhere, helping to restore peace, she addd.