AfCFTA: Ministry of Commerce Issues Call to Action for All Exporters

By Phiwa Sikhondze

In a significant development for trade in Africa, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Trade of Eswatini has issued a call to action for all exporters to engage with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

This follows the strategic launch of the AfCFTA Implementation strategy on March 7, 2024, under the vision “to provide a strategic roadmap for Eswatini to maximize benefits under the AfCFTA targeting an annual regional export growth of 10%.”

According to a statement released by the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Manqoba Khumalo, on Monday 29 April 2024, the AfCFTA is set to revitalize economic integration across the continent, potentially increasing intra-Africa trade by focusing on diversified and value-added goods.

It also aims to foster investment and innovation within African countries. The trade area encompasses a market of 1.3 billion people across 54 countries, with a combined GDP of US$3.4 trillion.

Following the commencement of trade by all Southern African Customs Union (SACU) countries as of January 31, 2024, Eswatini’s exporting companies are now poised to expand their market reach to West and North Africa, as well as regions above sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, most of Eswatini’s exports are primarily being directed to SACU, the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), and the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

The AfCFTA is expected to open up new market access opportunities in the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS), the East African Community (EAC), and countries above Sub-Saharan Africa, including Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, and Morocco.

To export under the AfCFTA and take advantage of preferences, exporters are required to apply and register with the Eswatini Revenue Services to be granted the certificate of origin (CoO). The CoO is a customs document that confers that products are originating from Eswatini and are eligible for preferences. For more information on the registration process, enquiries can be emailed to

The AfCFTA Secretariat is scheduled to visit Eswatini in May 2024 to engage with traders and potential traders on the advantages of exporting under the AfCFTA. The business community will receive communication regarding these engagements.

For additional information on the opportunities presented by the AfCFTA, interested parties can visit or send enquiries to the International Trade Department at and, EIPA at or call 2404 0470 and ERS at

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