How to do business in Africa – Continental Free Trade Area AfCFTA – Africa and the African Diaspora
H.E. Dr Arikana Chihombori Quao Addressing the African Diaspora in the Americas about AfCFTA
Her Excellency Dr Arikana Chihombori Quao calling on all the African Diaspora to be part of building the Africa We Want.
Objectives of the CFTA:
• Create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, and thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the Continental Customs Union and the African customs union.
• Expand intra African trade through better harmonization and coordination of trade liberalization and facilitation regimes and instruments across RECs and across Africa in general.
• Resolve the challenges of multiple and overlapping memberships and expedite the regional and continental integration processes.
• Enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level through exploiting opportunities for scale production, continental market access and better reallocation of resources.
The Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) entered into force on 30 May 2019 for the 24 countries that had deposited their instruments of ratification. This date marked 30 days after 22 countries had deposited their ratification instruments with the African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson – the designated depositary for this purpose, as stipulated in Article 23 of the Agreement.
The 22-country threshold was reached on 29 April 2019 when Sierra Leone and the Saharawi Republic deposited their instruments of ratification with the depositary. Since then, five countries have deposited their instruments of ratification: Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, São Tomé and Príncipe, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Nigeria and Benin signed the AfCFTA Agreement during the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union on the AfCFTA in Niamey, Niger on 7 July 2019, which marked the launch of the operational phase of the AfCFTA Agreement. Of the 55 AU member states, only Eritrea has yet to sign the Agreement.