The November resumption of talks between Tanzania’s government and multinational corporates, on plans to develop the country’s $30bn liquefied ... natural gas (LNG) reserves, has triggered optimism that progress may finally be in sight.
“I’ve just come from Ghana, where four weeks ago we agreed on rules of origin for cheese, fruit juices and edible oils. We now have agreement on just over 88% of products. Our immediate target is 90%,” says Patel.
By February next year, the continent’s trade ministers will place a package before their heads of states, seeking support, endorsement, and approval on rules of origin. “Once they’ve approved that, we can start trading. That’s where we are,” says Patel.
Although the African Continent Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement came into force on 1 January 2021, “we’ve not practically started what you can call ‘real’ trade under the AfCFTA”, the South African trade minister says.