Rwanda issues special freight tariff for AfCFTA traders

The National carrier, RwandAir, has put in place a preferential freight tariff for Rwanda exporters under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The promotional offer where Rwanda exporters will pay $1.4 per Kilogramme is aimed to motivate the business community to leverage AfCFTA- one of the 13 flagship projects of Agenda 2063 in Africa.

The ambitious trade pact is set to form the world’s largest free trade area by creating a single market for goods and services of almost 1.3 billion people across Africa and deepening the economic integration of Africa.

AfCFTA was established in 2018 by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

The trade area could have a combined gross domestic product of around $3.4 trillion, but achieving its full potential depends on significant policy reforms and trade facilitation measures across African signatory nations.

The AfCFTA aims to reduce tariffs among members and covers policy areas such as trade facilitation and services, as well as regulatory measures such as sanitary standards and technical barriers to trade.

The agreement was brokered by the African Union (AU) and was signed by 44 of its 55 member states in Kigali, Rwanda on March 21, 2018.

In a 2020 report, the World Bank estimated that by 2035, real income gains from full implementation of the agreement could be 7 percent, or nearly $450bn.

By 2035, the volume of total exports would increase by almost 29% relative to business as usual. Intra-continental exports would increase by more than 81 percent, while exports to non-African countries would rise by 19percent.

The promotional offer to pay $1.4 per Kg could be good news to Rwanda horticulture exporters and is valid up to June 2023.

In August, 2022 RwandAir had increased airfreight fee on a kilogramme of fresh produce from $1.8 to $2.

Last month, Rwanda exported its first consignment of goods under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement to Ghana.

The first consignment of coffee from Igire Coffee Limited was flown to Accra by the national carrier, RwandAir, marking the formal start of preferential trading under the AfCFTA agreement.

Rwanda is among the countries selected to participate in the pilot phase of the AfCFTA initiative on Guided Trade.