Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Thursday, September 9, 2021.
Tanzania finally ratifies AfCFTA protocols
The parliament on Thursday ratified the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), concluding months of dilly-dallying. This means that Tanzania has effectively become part of 39 African countries that have joined the so-called largest free trade area in the world.
Tanzania’s decision to ratify the agreement comes almost two months since President Samia Suluhu Hassan held talks with the Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Mr Wamkele Mene on June 30, 2021, at the State House in Dar es Salaam.
Stakeholders have been pushing Tanzania to ratify the protocol given the opportunities it would offer the country especially in its efforts to build an industrial economy. By ratifying the protocol, Tanzania’s products will be able to reach any African country with the ease of customs clearance, moving the continent towards another stage in strengthening African economies.
While he was in Dar es Salaam in June this year, Mr Mene took part in a consultative meeting with stakeholders that involved Foreign Affairs Minister Liberata Mulamula who among other things said that there were a few issues that the government had sort out before ratifying the agreement, “Because this is a union government and we have to ensure everything has been considered.”
Industry and Trade Minister Prof Kitila Mkumbo told the parliament yesterday that among the benefits that Tanzania will get by joining the block are the accessibility of markets for its various products as well as the production of the products.
In a Twitter post, Prof Mkumbo said: “[I’m] pleased to announce that today, the 9th of September 2021, the Parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania has ratified the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), effectively joining the 1.2 billion market and USD 3.4 trillion African economy.”
As of July 2021, 40 out of 54 signatory countries have ratified the AfCFTA treaty, with the latest addition being Zambia, Malawi, Algeria and Burundi. A total of 42 countries have submitted their offers for schedules of tariff concession representing 76 per cent of African Union membership, according to Nairametrics. A total of 28 offers have been certified, having met 90 per cent of the tariff lines.
The offers came from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zambia, Gabon, Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. The percentage of agreed rules of origin has also equally increased from 81 per cent to 86 per cent.
NEMC fines nine oil companies for violation of environmental rules
Director-General of National Environment Management Council (NEMC) Dr Samuel Gwamaka said yesterday that the environmental watchdog has fined nine oil companies a total of Sh5.1 billion over violation of environmental rules.
At a news conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Mr Gwamaka said that the nine companies have been fined after it was established that they constructed filling stations across the country without undergoing an environmental impact assessment (EIA).
“The nine oil companies should pay the fines within 14 days beginning September 10, ,” Mr Gwamaka said without mentioning the nine oil companies.
According to Gwamaka, NEMC’s ongoing crackdown on oil companies that are operating filling stations without undergoing the EIA across the country has established that there are about 393 companies flouting the environmental rule.
He said NEMC has established that most of the oil companies have constructed filling stations without EIA, adding that the crackdown was continuous.
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