I. BACKGROUND AND JUSTIFICATION
The premise of the initiation of a Made in Central Africa label is that as a marker of the origin of quality products from the subregion, it would stimulate healthy competition in industrial production and quality services for subregional and, subsequently, intra-African trade within the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). This is in the spirit of the Douala Consensus on economic diversification in Central Africa of September 2017. Examples include: the Proudly South African label initiated in 2001 and the Made in Rwanda initiative introduced in 2015.
To be considered a Made-in-Central Africa product, within the established rules of origin set by ECCAS and CEMAC, a product must:
- Be wholly sourced from the subregion (this concerns products in their raw state from of the flora and fauna of the subregion as well as handicraft)
- Be manufactured with a minimum incorporation percentage of 40% of the raw materials originating from the Member States of the region
- Be manufactured with raw and consumable materials wholly or partly of foreign origin but with at least 30 per cent value added on the spot before tax
Once an enterprise ascertains that its product meets one of these criteria, it goes ahead to apply for
- The product’s acceptance in the preferential tariff regime via each country’s national preferential tariff accreditation Committee; and
- The award of a certificate of origin
A unique Made in Central Africa label, can therefore act as an optional materialisation of the origin and proud belonging of such products, to the subregion.
II. OBJECTIVES OF CREATING A MADE IN CENTRAL AFRICA LABEL
- To proudly identify quality products coming out of Central Africa and create an popular imprint/legend on the minds of consumers
- To incentivize entrepreneurs and industrialists to go an extra mile towards value-addition and quality assurance
- To reassure consumers, especially those of the subregion, of the originality of what they are consuming and encourage them to ‘buy sub-regional’
- To showcase Central Africa’s resolve to pursue trade-induced vertical and horizontal diversification
- To ultimately boost intra-subregional and intra-African trade