49 AU Members have signed the African free trade agreement
The AfCFTA, according to United Nations, will boost intra-Africa trade by 53 percent by eliminating import duties and non-tariff barriers.
The African Union (AU) chairperson, Paul Kagame, has announced that 49 out of the 55 members of the union have signed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
Kagame, who is also the Rwandan President, made this known in Nouakchott, Mauritania, on Monday, July 2, during the closing ceremony of the 31st summit of the AU.
South Africa, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Lesotho and Burundi joined the long list of countries that have signed the AfCFTA in Nouakchott. While Chad and Swaziland ratified the agreement, which brings the total number of ratification to six.
South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, and Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, expressed their delight at the new development, which is expected to benefit every country in the continent as well as big businesses, small companies and micro lenders.
The AfCFTA agreement must be ratified by 22 countries to make it operational, and 15 ratifications are required for the protocol on free movements of persons, rights of residence and right of establishment.
The AfCFTA, according to United Nations, will boost intra-Africa trade by 53 percent by eliminating import duties and non-tariff barriers. It could create an African market of over 1.2 billion people with a GDP of $2.5 trillion.
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