The commencement of trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area on January 1st this year is expected to create growth opportunities for Rwandan producers and exporters, especially in untapped markets. The mechanism is expected to drive Rwanda’s exports to the African continent from the current $1.6B annually to about $5B in 10 years According to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, among the markets that will bring fortunes to local exporters and traders including neighbouring DR Congo which is one of the leading markets for Rwandan produce. Other markets that Rwanda is eying include the Economic Community of West African States namely Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal and Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) including Gabon, Congo Brazzaville and Angola. Rwandan producers will also be looking to make the most of the Southern African market in countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia among other niche markets. Speaking at Rwanda’s launch of trading under the platform, Antoine Kajangwe Director General-Trade and Investment at the Ministry of Trade and Industry said that among the market-ready exports include Agro-processed goods, construction materials, ICT and financial services. The increase of destinations served by national carrier, RwandAir on the African Continent, is further expected to enable Rwandan exporters to reach target markets with ease. Manasseh Nshuti the State Minister in charge of East African Community (EAC) said that the traders should make the most of the airline’s destinations on the market. Nshuti added that e-commerce will be a key driver of facilitating access to the continental market urging the private sector to look into adopting practices. CFTA will also see Rwanda easily import raw materials for industries such as textile for value addition and exports which could see Rwanda reduce the import bill. According to officials, the successful implementation of the CFTA could help Eastern African countries create over 2M jobs as well as $1.8 billion in consumer welfare gains. Rwanda’s producers are confident in their ability to tap into the continental market buoyed by recent performance in agriculture exports. For instance, Rwanda exported 31,788 tonnes of horticulture commodities in 2019/20 according to statistics from the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB). The gradual reduction of taxes and tariffs towards elimination and ease of market access is expected to increase intra-Africa trade as it creates an African market of 1.27 billion consumers with a cumulative GDP of around $2.3 to $3.4 trillion. 34 African countries have ratified the AfCFTA Legal Instrument while 54 out of the 55 AU member states have signed the agreement.