AfCFTA seeks to increase intra-Africa trade

Written By: Judith Akolo
1205

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African states are nearing the threshold of 22 countries to help

operationalise the African Continental Free Trade Agreement  (AfCFTA).

So far 18 countries have ratified the agreement reached in Kigali, Rwanda in March

last year while 49 countries have already appended their signatures on the

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document that seeks to increase intra-Africa trade.

Kenya is upbeat that indeed the much sought after intra-Africa trade under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is about to be realised.

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Once in place, movement of goods and services within the continent is expected to be easier as Africa takes advantage of the content’s high population to find a market for the goods produced with most countries facing challenges accessing the international market owing to various barriers to trade.

Kenya was among the first countries to ratify the agreement that has also been endorsed by Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Eswatini, Ghana, Guinea, and Mali among the first 18 countries to ratify the AfCFTA.

Others are; Mauritania, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Togo and Uganda.

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22 countries are needed to ratify the treaty for it to get the nod for operationalization and if four more countries ratify it then the treaty will be on course to aiding Africa realize some of the aspirations in the Agenda 2063.

African states created the AfCFTA agreement in Kigali, Rwanda, in March last year at which 49 countries have appended their signatures on the consolidated text of the AfCFTA.

It is hoped that the formation of Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) and its implementation will present another catalyst to sustaining African economic growth potential by providing the necessary sustaining energy to boost trade, raise economic growth and foster development that is inclusive and sustainable.

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While boosting Africa’s ability to negotiate at the World Trade Organization, the CFTA will engender more intra-African trade, which currently comprises just 15 percent of the continent’s total merchandise trade, compared to other continents 67 percent in Europe; 58 per cent in Asia and 48 per cent in North America.

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