Alex Assanvo, the executive secretary of the Côte d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative, believes the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) could offer solutions.
Bringing processing home
“It is my big dream,” Assanvo says, to push cocoa as a pilot project and show how the AfCFTA can be deployed to encourage more processing of raw commodities on the continent. “This is probably one of the best tools we have to start promoting local processing. We need to bring it to a level where processing becomes cheaper in Africa.”
Trade under the AfCFTA officially started on 1 January last year, but not a single product has been traded under the agreement as yet because some practicalities are still outstanding. Negotiators are still trying to achieve the rules of origin, which is 90% of the products. This currently stands at just over 87%.
When it is implemented, it will turn Africa into the
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