Kenya is set to benefit from the expected increase of trade following the operationalization and implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) treaty.

The event dubbed “Lighting the Africa Trade Torch” to launch the treaty took place simultaneously in five African countries on Wednesday.

In Kenya, the ceremony to operationalize the agreement took place in Mombasa while similar events were held in Dakar (Senegal), Cape Town (South Africa), Lagos (Nigeria) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania)

Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) is spearheading the initiative in Kenya in collaboration with county and national governments.

“AFCTA is a private sector initiative to boost trade among African countries and her people,” said KNCCI Mombasa chair Mustafa Ramadhan during the event that took place at the famous Mombasa tusks along Moi Avenue.

Ramadhan said Africa countries are currently doing less than 17 per cent intra-trade adding: “We are hopeful that this initiative will open the African market and Kenya will be free to trade with close to one billion people in the African market.”

Vice Chairman of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)Kiprono Kittony said African governments should make it possible for goods, services and labour to transcend all border barriers.

Kittony said the initiative offers a huge market and provides the best opportunity to African countries to increase trade in the continent and improve their economies.