Number of African Countries who have ratified the AFCFTA Agreement Rises to 22admin 30th April 2019 0 COMMENTS
The Chairperson of the AUC Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat, flanked by the African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry, His Excellency Albert Muchanga received two (2) deposits of instruments of ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement today. The instruments were from H.E. Dr. Brima Patrick Kapuwa, Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the African Union (representing the 21st member state to do so) and H.E. Lamin Baali Permanent Representative of the Saharawi Republic to the African Union (representing the 22nd ratification).
The Chairperson hailed the two deposits as timely and significant steps towards removing the fragmentation of African economies and markets, a process that will create a large market that is critical to increasing trade and investments on the continent.
The two deposits meet the minimum threshold of ratifications required under Article 23 of the AfCFTA Agreement for it to enter into force thirty days after deposit of the twenty second deposit made by the Saharawi Republic. The AfCFTA Agreement will in this regard enter into force on 30th May, 2019.
All that is now left is for the African Union and African Ministers of Trade to finalize work on supporting instruments to facilitate the launch of the operational phase of the AfCFTA during an Extra-Ordinary heads of state and government summit on 7th July 2019. The African Ministers of Trade are scheduled to meet in Kampala, Uganda in the first week of June this year to review work on these supporting instruments ahead of the ExtraOrdinary Summit on the AfCFTA.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a planned free trade area, outlined in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement among 49 of the 55 African Union nations. If the agreement is ratified, the free-trade area will be the largest in the world in terms of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organization.
The agreement was brokered by the African Union (AU) and was signed on by 44 of its 55 member states in Kigali, Rwanda on March 21, 2018. The agreement initially requires members to remove tariffs from 90% of goods, allowing free access to commodities, goods, and services across the continent. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa estimates that the agreement will boost intra-African trade by 52 percent by 2022. The proposal will come into force after ratification by 22 of the signatory states.