African Continental Free Trade Agreement 2019

African Continental Free Trade Agreement 2019

After years of discussions, the aim is to create an internal market for goods and services in 54 countries, allow the free movement of business travellers and investment, and create a continental customs union to streamline trade – and attract long-term investment. Nigeria was one of the last nations to sign the agreement. With 200 million people, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and has about the population of the second and third most populous countries in Ethiopia and Egypt, each of which has a population of about 98 million. With a nominal GDP of $376 billion, or about 17% of Africa`s GDP, it is just ahead of South Africa, which accounts for 16% of the African economy. Given that Nigeria is such an important country in terms of population and economy, its absence was particularly striking when the agreement was first signed. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa stressed this in comments on July 12, 2018, commenting: «The continent is waiting for Nigeria and South Africa. Although it has an independent legal personality, it works closely with the AU Commission and receives its budget from the AU. The Council of Ministers responsible for trade decides on the location of the head office, structure, role and competences. [35] The Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union is the supreme decision-making body. It will likely meet at AU summits. [39] The Council of Ministers responsible for trade oversees strategic trade policy and ensures the effective implementation and enforcement of the AfCFTA Agreement. [39] The AfCFTA is the most ambitious integration initiative on the African continent, integrated into the African Union`s Agenda 2063, whose main objective is to create a single continental market for goods and services with free movement of people and investment, thereby expanding intra-African trade across the continent, improving competitiveness and supporting economic change in Africa.

Since then, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Lesotho, Burundi and South Africa signed the AfCFTA at the 31st African Union Summit in Nouakchott. [50] As of July 2019, 54 states have signed the agreement. [51] Paul Brenton is a Chief Economist of the World Bank`s Trade and Regional Integration Unit (ETIRI). It focuses on analytical and operational work on trade and regional integration. .

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