Saturday, 2 January 2021

Ethiopian-DHL, AeTrade Group Partner to Transport Historical Parcels Under AfCFTA

Ethiopian Airlines-DHL and African Electronic Trade Group partner to transport  historical parcels in the African Continental Free Trade Area. The partnership is meant  to invoke the start of trading of the African Continental Free Trade Area market and  the operations of the African E-Commerce Platform in the continent.  

The first batch of the goods has arrived at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport on  01 January 2021 at a ceremony graced by high-level officials from the public and  private sectors, AU, DHL and Ethiopian Airlines Group.  

Working in collaboration with African Union Commission and the African business  community with a vision to enhance intra-and inter-African trade, the African  Electronic Trade Group transports fragile trophies to various African countries as  African Continental Free Trade Area commences. The smooth and reliable connection  between the source and the final destination is possible because of the partnership  between Ethiopian Airlines and the African Electronic Trade Group. This partnership  joins the pre-existing continental partnership between Ethiopian Airlines and DHL  that has strengthened the multimodal logistics systems established by Ethiopian at its hub in Addis Ababa. 

Commissioner General of the Eswatini Revenue Authority remarked, “Tremendous  opportunities exist digitally enabled cross border trade through the implementation of  ASYCUDA World, Customs to Customs Data Exchange, Coordinated Border Management, Single Windows and other similar mechanisms pursued under the Regional Economic  Communities, which need to be the norm rather than the exception in Africa. The African  Continental Free Trade Area brings momentum behind our commitment for enhanced ease of  doing business that we are addressing in partnership with the business community, the 

Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade and all members of the National Trade Facilitation  Committee”. 

So far, the fragile goods have passed through Eswatini, South Africa and Ethiopia countries that have signed and ratified the AfCFTA Agreement. 

Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO Ethiopian airlines said, “The link between an  integrated African marketplace, free movement of persons and the single air market in Africa  cannot be underestimated as it serves as a catalyst for unlocking immense opportunities in  Africa for the benefit of Africans and all stakeholders. I would like to commend the African  Union leaders for their strategic focus on the legal instruments that will make it easier for  Africans to travel across the continent peacefully and do business with each other. I believe  that the partnership with The African Electronic Trade Group and DHL is crucial, as  Ethiopian is a key player in African cargo and passenger transportation. While fighting the  COVID-19 pandemic, we need to work to boost intra African trade to pave the way for a  brighter future.”  

The African Electronic Trade Group Southern Africa office is the origin of the cargo comprising of small fragile trophies destined to several African countries. The items are handmade by artisans in the Kingdom of Eswatini from recycled glass and  converted into items of beauty. This is to mark the start of trading of the African  Continental Free Trade Area and the operation of the African E-Commerce Platform  named “Sokokuu (’’ which means big market, central market  and unity in Kiswahili. The items produced in Eswatini and transported to various  destinations across the continent symbolize that Africa is ready to exchange goods  originating in this marketplace from the first day of trading.  

“A robust ecosystem to serve SMEs, especially women and youth, better is under construction  with fresh impetus from digital technologies and enabling policies being put in place by the  African Union Member States.” Chairperson of the African Business Council, Dr.  Amany Asfour remarked. 

A joint statement issued by the partners stated: “This is the beginning of an exciting  journey between a consortium of proud and trusted African and global brands – AeTrade  Group – Ethiopian Airlines – DHL.” Standing together we welcome the start of trading of the 

African Continental Free Trade Area with its 1.3 bililon people and an estimated GDP of 3.4  trillion.” 

All African countries are encouraged to sign and ratify the agreement, because  universal signature and ratification of the relevant instruments is essential for seamless and hassle free trade and industrial development in Africa. 

“We wish to thank the African leaders for bringing this fruitful decision. The AfCFTA serves  as an inspiration to the business community which propels us to make a start now, providing  payment and logistics services and trade information via Sokokuu.Africa” said the CEO and  Chairman of the AeTrade Group, Mr. Mulualem Syoum. 

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