ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES-DHL PARTNER TO TRANSPORT PARCELS UNDER THE AFRICAN CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA
Ethiopian Airlines-DHL and African Electronic Trade Group have partnered to transport parcels to enhance intra-and inter-African trade as the African Continental Free Trade Area commences.
In a statement, Ethiopian Airlines said 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 1 January 2021 at a ceremony graced by high-level officials from the public and private sectors, AU, DHL and Ethiopian Airlines Group,” the airline said.
It said the partnership between Ethiopian Airlines and the African Electronic Trade Group joins the pre-existing tie-up between Ethiopian Airlines and DHL that has strengthened the multimodal logistics systems established by Ethiopian at its hub in Addis Ababa.
“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,” said Commissioner General of the Eswatini Revenue Authority.
The African Continental Free Trade Area, he noted, also brings momentum behind the commitment for enhanced ease of doing business.
So far, the fragile goods have passed through Eswatini, South Africa and Ethiopia- countries that have signed and ratified the AfCFTA Agreement.
Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO Ethiopian airlines noted that the “link between an integrated African marketplace, free movement of persons and the single air market in Africa” will unlock opportunities in Africa for 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,” GebreMariam said.
The African Continental Free Trade Area has 1.3 bililon people and an estimated GDP of 3.4 trillion.