The African Union will officially launch the operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement during the next Extra-Ordinary Heads of State and Government summit slated for 7th July 2019 in Niamey, Niger.
African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement was entered into force on 30th May 2019. The AfCFTA requires 22 member states to deposit their instrument in order for the AfCFTA to take effect. With the required 22 ratifications in place, the agreement is now a binding international legal instrument.
Three out of the 55 African Union-member countries including Benin, Eritrea, and Nigeria, have not signed the free trade agreement as a result of opposition from local businesses, private sector and trade unions who fear they might face significant losses in the face of integration.
The agreement is expected to boost regional integration and trade by reducing tariffs and allowing companies or businesses to strive and access new markets. By creating a single market of 1.3 billion people, it ushers in a new trade and development era for the continent of Africa.
Will AfCFTA spur Africa’s industrialization and economic development?