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Cameroon executes first container shipment of Alluminium to Algeria under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area

The cargo loaded this Friday under the supervision of the Minister of Commerce from the port of Douala-Bonabéri, thus constitutes the first export from Cameroon under this project. It will benefit, as such, from the preferential customs tariff of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

A ship loaded with 100 tons of aluminum ingots left Cameroon this Friday, July 5, bound for Algeria. The cargo will benefit from the preferential customs tariff of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). These are the very first exports from Cameroon under this regime, which has been in effect since 2021 between the 54 signatory African states, with more than mixed results in three years. This cargo comes from the Cameroonian Aluminum Company (ALUCAM) and is intended for the Algerian company SARL ALFILECT.

A forthcoming export has been announced, which would come from the surplus production of the leader in the steel and metallurgy sector in Cameroon, Prometal Group, which recently invested 57 billion CFA francs in the construction of two new factories in the Douala Bassa industrial zone. One of the two units inaugurated at the end of last January by the Prime Minister, namely Prometal 4, whose vocation is the transformation of steel, has a capacity of 360,000 tons of steel products per year. As for the second, Prometal 5 (Progaz), it specializes in the production of gas cylinders. Installed capacity: 600,000 units per year.

This first export from Cameroon under this free trade agreement, the launch of which was supervised today by the Minister of Trade of Cameroon, is the culmination of a process initiated several months ago by the National Council of Shippers of Cameroon (CNCC), which houses the ad hoc subcommittee responsible for monitoring and implementing guided trade of the African Continental Free Trade Area in Cameroon.

The Director General of the Douala Port Cyrus Ngoo used the occasion to reiterate his institutions support to the success of the AfCFTA. ”The Douala Ports authority will continue to support this vision which falls in line with reforms taken by the ad,inistration to improve the services and competitivity of the Douala Port”

Auguste Penda Mbappe, the Chairman of the Ad-hoc sub committee for the implementation of the AfCFTA in Cameroon expressed delight. To him this first export marks the fulfilmentof a job well done by the Cameroon National Shippers Council hosting the Sub committee.

Trade Minister Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana says ”In the next 25 years, Africa will have a population of 2 billion increasing its potential as a profitable ground for economic growth. He has challenged the buisness class in Cameroon to take advantage of the AfCFTA to stimulate economic growth and project the MADE IN CAMEROON mark.

This first export comes almost a year to the day after Cameroon welcomed the very first import on its soil under the AfCFTA project. In early July 2023, a shipment of 20 tons of raisin intended for a paint manufacturing company was unloaded at the deep-water port of Kribi, under the same free trade agreement.

It was also the very first import from all 6 countries of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) under this new regime which provides, for the moment, for a progressive tariff dismantling (up to 90%) on a list of more than 5000 products, largely consisting of raw materials.