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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya says Horn of Africa states’ accession
to the WTO to boost economy

By Ronald Njoroge NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will expand by at least ten percent if all the Horn of Africa states join the World Trade Organization (WTO), a senior Kenyan government official said on Monday.

Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs told a media briefing in Nairobi that by acceding to the global trade body, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan will be required to open their economies to international trade.

“We therefore anticipate that Kenya will benefit from more crossborder trade and hence its economy could expand by at least ten percent,” Mohamed said during the opening ceremony of the First Regional Dialogue on WTO accessions.

The three-day forum aims to mobilize support for facilitating and accelerating African accessions to the WTO.

During the conference, government officials from Somalia and South Sudan will receive a two-day practical training on WTO Accessions during which they have an overview of the WTO accession process and the substance of accession negotiations.

Mohamed noted that of the 21 countries in the process of joining the WTO, eight are in Africa, four of which are in the Horn of Africa region.

Mohamed said that intra-Africa trade remains very low due to the numerous tariff and non-tariff barriers imposed by many African states.

She said that WTO membership has numerous benefits and requires countries to reform their laws and policies to conform to international trade rules.

 

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