The Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat has commended the remarkable strides made in the operationalization of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) aimed at promoting the economic integration of African Union member states.
Speaking recently during the opening of the Ordinary Session of Executive Council of Ministers of Trade, during the Africa Industrialization Week, in Niamey, Niger, Mousa said the progress of the trade agreement that has so far been ratified by 44 out of the 55 member states is a ‘source of satisfaction and pride’.
“The establishment of the functional structure of the AfCFTA Permanent Secretariat was done in parallel with the launch of negotiations under the first phase devoted to trade in goods and services. This phase, which was crowned with success, recorded, among other things, the commitment by the States Parties to eliminate customs duties on 97% of tariff lines and laudable progress on issues related to trade in goods, in particular trade facilitation, trade dispute settlement, rules of origin, non-tariff barriers and institutional arrangements.”
The AfCFTA Agreement was signed on 21st March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda and came into force on 30 May 2019. The scope of the AfCFTA Agreement includes the Protocol on Trade in Goods, the Protocol on Trade in Services, and the Protocol on Rules and Procedures on the Settlement of Disputes, the Protocol on Investment, the Protocol on Intellectual Property Rights, the Protocol on Competition, the Protocol on Digital Trade, and the Protocol on Women and Youth in Trade.
Start of trading under the AfCFTA Agreement began on 1 January 2021.
As at 1 December 2022, 44 out of the 55 Member States have deposited their instruments of ratification with the AUC.
Over two-thirds of Member States are now parties to the AfCFTA Agreement.
Somalia Parliamentary/Cabinet approval pending.
Eritrea ONLY country not to sign agreement.
NOTE: Burkina Faso Guinea and Mali are currently SUSPENDED.
Credit: Mark-Anthony Johnson