The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement is moving forward, with the addition of ratifications from two more members to reach the minimum threshold.
Sierra Leone and the Saharawi Republic helped the AU to reach the necessary 22 nations required for the AfCFTA to enter into force. That will occur on May 30, thirty days after the two member states entered.
AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat welcomed their decisions 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 AU said in a statement.
The AfCFTA envisions the free movement of goods and services across African borders, with a common African passport and cross-border movement for its people. It’s being supported by initiatives like the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) launched in 2018, and the AU Supply Chain Platform unveiled at a workshop in Ethiopia in January.
AU Commissioner for Trade and Industry Albert Muchanga also was on hand. His office will be working on technical agreements needed before a July 7 extraordinary summit on the AfCFTA implementation. He’ll be joined by his ministerial counterparts from African nations in Uganda next month to review progress on tariff agreements, digital platforms and other mechanisms that need to be in place.
Image: AU/Albert Muchanga