Ex-Kippra boss to advise African free trade bloc – Business Daily

The African Continental Free Trade Area Business Forum taking place at the Kigali Convention Center in Kigali, on 20 March 2018. FILE PHOTO | NMG
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has tapped former Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (Kippra) boss Stephen Karingi to advise it on industrialisation.
Dr Karingi who is currently the director in charge of regional integration and trade division at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) will alongside a team of 14 other African scholars advise the pan-African free trade zone on avenues of fast-tracking the region’s creation of industries.
Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area, announced Dr Karingi’s appointment to the membership of the AfCFTA trade and industrial development advisory council in a statement.
“One of the key mandates of the AfCFTA agreement is the promotion of industrial development through diversification and regional value chain development, agricultural development and food security,” said the AfCFTA in a statement.
“This is imperative given the low levels of investments in industrial production, which is also a major contributor to the low percentage of intra-African trade.”
Before joining the United Nations, Dr Karingi was a senior analyst and the head of the macroeconomics division in Kippra. Before Kippra he served as a lecturer of Economics at Egerton University.
Kenya was the first country in the eastern Africa region to ratify the trade deal after the National Assembly adopted it.
The pan-African free trade zone aims to bring 1.3 billion people together in a $3.4 trillion (Sh384 trillion) economic bloc that supporters say will boost living standards, encourage development and make Africa less dependent on trade with other regions.
Member states of the AfCFTA recently concluded their negotiations on rules of origin, a move expected to significantly cut tariffs on goods moving within the continent.
Mr Mene said the conclusion of negotiations on rules of origin was an important milestone towards a successful implementation of the free trade pact.
“Now that we have 87.7 per cent of rules of origin agreed, we are now in the position for member states to gazette these legal instruments at the national level so that countries can apply these rules of origin from a customs point of view,” Mr Mene said earlier.
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By Kwetu Buzz

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