Africa Free Trade Agreement Members

Africa Free Trade Agreement Members

The Africa Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is a historic trade agreement that aims to create a single market for goods and services across the African continent. The agreement was signed on 21 March 2018 and came into force on 1 January 2021, with 54 of the 55 African Union (AU) member states participating. The AfCFTA is expected to boost intra-African trade, promote economic growth, and reduce poverty on the continent.

The AfCFTA is the largest free trade agreement in terms of participating countries since the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The agreement covers a market of 1.2 billion people and has the potential to increase intra-African trade by up to 52.3%. The AfCFTA is also expected to increase the competitiveness of African countries in the global market by facilitating trade with other regions.

The AfCFTA has been divided into two phases. The first phase focuses on the reduction of tariffs and non-tariff barriers among member states. This phase will be implemented over a five-year period and is expected to reduce tariffs on 90% of goods traded among African countries. The second phase will focus on the liberalization of trade in services and will be implemented over a longer period.

As of 2021, 54 of the 55 AU member states have signed the AfCFTA agreement, with only Eritrea remaining as a non-signatory member. AfCFTA members include Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Ivory Coast, and many others.

The AfCFTA member states are divided into five regional economic communities (RECs): the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). These RECs will play a critical role in the implementation of AfCFTA, as they will work to ensure that the agreement’s provisions are fully integrated into their existing regional trade agreements.

In conclusion, the AfCFTA represents a significant step towards the integration of African markets and the promotion of intra-African trade. The agreement has the potential to create a single market for goods and services across the African continent, increase competitiveness, and promote economic growth and development. With 54 of the 55 AU member states signed on, the AfCFTA is poised to be a game-changer in transforming the economic landscape of the African continent.

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