Global Trade

African leaders launched a continental free-trade area

The agreement that took African countries four years to be initiated

Jul 10th 2019 · 2 min read
African leaders launched a continental free-trade area

African leaders launched a Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) on Sunday, July 7, 2019, an agreement that creates a common market for the continent as well as free movement of capital and persons.

The agreement that took African countries four years to be initiated is stated to unite 1.3 billion people and create a $3.4 trillion economic bloc and usher in a new era of development across the continent if it will be successful.

The 55-nation trade bloc was reached in March but was signed by 52 countries including Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari during the 12th Extraordinary Summit of the African Union held in Niamey, Niger.

Ghana was announced as the host of the trade zone’s future headquarters and discussions were held on how exactly the bloc will operate.

“Today the 7th July 2019, will be remembered as The DAY Africa achieves another historic milestone of uniting Africa for collective Prosperity, Peace and Harmony. The operational phase of AfCFTA will be officially launched today, by African Heads of State,” AfCFTA posted on its Twitter official page after the launch.

“For the millions of Sons and Daughters of Africa both at home and abroad, we must all make AfCFTA work, because this is the Africa we want. As a vote of confidence to the leadership of the African Union, let’s support all the programmes and initiatives of Agenda 2063.” AFCFTA added

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) noted to be the largest since the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1994, will boost intra-regional trade, strengthen supply chains and spread expertise across the continent.

“The eyes of the world are turned towards Africa,” Egyptian President and African Union Chairman Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said at the summit’s opening ceremony.

“The success of the AfCFTA will be the real test to achieve the economic growth that will turn our people’s dream of welfare and quality of life into a reality,” he said.

About African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA)

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is a trade agreement which is in force between 25 African Union member states, with the goal of creating a single market followed by free movement and a single-currency union.

The AfCFTA was signed in Kigali, Rwanda, on 21 March 2018. As of July 2019, 54 states have signed the agreement. Ratification by 22 countries was required for the agreement to enter into force and the African Continental Free Trade Area to become effective.

The agreement will function as an umbrella to which protocols and annexes will be added.

last updated: 2019-07-10@10:07