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How Many Countries Have Ratified The African Continental Free Trade Agreement

Posted on Dec 10, 2020 in Uncategorized

To date, all African countries have signed the AfCFTA agreement and 54 national governments have formally committed to the creation of AfCFTA, with the exception of Eritrea. The AfCFTA agreement has been ratified to date by 31 AU member states, including Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Republic of Congo, Côte d`Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, eSwatini, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Saharawi Republic, Sao Tome – Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Gambia, Togo, Uganda and While the AfCFTA came into force on 30 May 2019, the AU`s extraordinary afCFTA summit, held on 7 July 2019 in Niamey, launched the AfCFTA operational phase with the agreement that AfCFTA exchanges will begin on 1 July 2020 and has decided to assign the AfCFTA secretariat to Accra, Ghana. Although Africa`s average growth is 3.6% in 2019/20 and the world`s fastest growing economies are on the continent, much remains to be done. Africa remains highly dependent on exports of raw materials and agricultural products, while it imports mainly capital goods or food products from abroad. With less than 3% of world trade, it is not yet necessary to achieve export diversification, as many African countries still depend on the rents of extractive exports, while they lag behind in industrialization efforts. In this context, intra-African trade remains below its potential and accounts for about 17% of total African trade volume in 2017. In contrast, intracontinental trade in North America accounts for 51 per cent of exports, 49 per cent in Asia and 22 per cent in Latin America, while this figure is 69 per cent in European countries. Although some regional economic communities (REC) have improved trade integration through tariff reductions, the African market remains fragmented. Non-tariff barriers, such as uncoordinated bureaucratic procedures, long border wait times or long and heavy export requirements, increase trade costs on the continent. As a result, Africa has integrated more quickly into the rest of the world than with itself. The SAfCFTA secretariat is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the agreement and is an autonomous body within the AU system. Although it has an independent legal personality, it will work closely with the AU Commission and receive its AU budget. The Council of Ministers responsible for trade will decide on the headquarters, structure, role and responsibilities.

[35] The African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government is the highest decision-making body. It will probably meet during the AU summit. [39] The Council of Trade Ministers provides strategic trade oversight and ensures the effective implementation and implementation of the AfCFTA agreement. [39] With the global economy booming as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic, the creation of AfCFTA`s huge regional market is a great opportunity to help African countries diversify their exports, accelerate growth and attract foreign direct investment. The Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement will create the largest free trade area in the world in terms of the number of participating countries. The pact connects 1.3 billion people in 55 countries for a total gross domestic product (GDP) of $3.4 trillion. It has the potential to lift 30 million people out of extreme poverty, but achieving its full potential will depend on the introduction of meaningful political reforms and trade facilitation. One of the great advantages for the AfCFTA region will be the removal of trade barriers between Kenya and Ethiopia, the two largest economies in East Africa.