The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria through its Export Promotion Group, has trained Nigerians exporters on how to harness potential in the African Continental Free Trade Area.
It built the capacity during a two-day training themed, ‘Exporting under the AfCFTA’, in Lagos, which was organised in collaboration with the secretariat of the National Action Committee on African Continental Free Trade
MANEG’s acting Chairman, Odiri Erewa-Meggison, reiterated the organisation’s commitment to tapping into the immense potential of the national economy by forging working partnerships with other industry stakeholders, and increasing the membership of the association.
She explained that the training was an open call for current and prospective exporters, in a bid to improve non-oil export enterprise in the country.
According to her, “So far, the practical implementation of AfCFTA started since September 2022, with the export of coffee products from Rwanda to Ghana and Exide Battery from Kenya to Ghana under the Guided Trade Initiative within the eight state parties that have met the minimum requirements for trade under the agreement.
“The state parties include Rwanda, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Tanzania and Tunisia.
“These countries are already operating on the GTI without Nigeria. As the Nigerian government continues to take steps to ensure our full participation in the AfCFTA, we at MANEG are determined to build the capacity of our members to optimise understanding of the free trade agreement, and take full advantage of the benefits as soon as the pathway opens.”
According to Odiri, the training was part of efforts to reposition MANEG to serve in its capacity as the leading and most recognised non-oil export promotion advocacy group in the country.
The Strategy Coordinator of AfCFTA, Franca Achimugu, said, “It is important to note that one of the strongest points of AfCFTA is trade without borders.
“This speaks to the elimination of trade barriers in Africa and creating a single market. This means that the whole of Africa becomes a single market and goods can be traded between the countries without trade restrictions.”
Also, the Executive Secretary of MANEG, Mr Benedict Obhiosa, noted that the training programme was to educate participants on the statutory requirements of external trade.
“With the programme, participants would be well informed on how to best position their businesses under the afCFTA,” he said.