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Kenya and Ghana Push for Formation of a System to Promote Trade Among African Union Countries

Konyo-konyo Market-foodcrops from Uganda on saleKenya and Ghana are pushing for the formation of an African company that would provide a continental market for goods and services to promote trade among the 50 countries of the African Union.

The structure of the enterprise, to be named Pan African Trade Hub System (Paths), will be modelled along the Africa Development Bank, and registered in Kenya, Ghana, Mauritius and Tunisia. It is projected to be operational by 2017. Such a market could have huge implications for the volume of transactions between African countries and developed nations, which they now accuse of unfair trade practices. Critically important Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed said the planned business venture would replace the ongoing multilateral negotiations, which hardly ever address the real problems of citizens and businesses.

“This is critically important for Kenya and Ghana and the whole of Africa,” she said, while sharing her frustrations with the multilateral trade negotiations. Overlapping memberships to different trade blocs has created unnecessary barriers to trade, even among neighbours such as Kenya and Tanzania — which belongs to both the East Africa Community and Southern Africa Development Community. Ms Mohamed said her ministry and her Ghanaian counterpart’s were hoping to present the agenda of setting up Paths in January during the half-yearly meeting of African presidents held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

In the current scenario, multinationals produce or buy the raw commodities in Africa before processing and selling them back to the various countries in the continent.

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