AfCFTA May UPDATE: Accelerating Africa’s Development Agenda in 2024

AfCFTA May UPDATE: Accelerating Africa’s Development Agenda in 2024

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is the flagship project of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, a blueprint for attaining inclusive and sustainable development across the continent over the next 50 years. It aims to boost intra-African trade by providing a comprehensive and mutually beneficial trade agreement among the member states, covering trade in goods and services, investment, intellectual property rights, and competition policy.

The Agreement entered into force on 30 May 2019 for the 24 countries that had deposited their instruments with the African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson – the designated depositary for this purpose.

The AfCFTA Secretariat – charged with various responsibilities related to the implementation of the AfCFTA – is hosted by Ghana. Wamkele Mene was officially appointed the first Secretary-General of the Secretariat on 19 March 2020 and is now serving his second term. The AfCFTA Secretariat was officially handed over in Accra, Ghana on 17 August 2020.

The start of trading under the AfCFTA Agreement began on 1 January 2021.

As of January 2024, Rules of Origin have been agreed on 92.3% of total tariff lines, and the operationalisation of the Pan-African Payments and Settlements System (PAPSS) has been officially launched.

On 7 October 2022, the AfCFTA Secretariat launched the AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative (GTI) in Accra to allow for commercially meaningful trade under the Agreement to commence for eight participating countries: Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Tunisia, representing the five regions of Africa. This initiative is being used to pilot the operational, institutional, legal, and trade policy environment under the AfCFTA.

In 2024, the scope of the GTI has been expanded in both product and country coverage across the five African regions and Island States, with a total of thirty-five State Parties having expressed interest to or have joined the initiative.

As of May 2024, 47 of the 54 signatories (85.2%) have deposited their instruments of AfCFTA ratification with the AUC Chairperson.

Note:

  1. Eritrea is the only country not to sign the AfCFTA agreement.
  2. Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Niger, and Gabon are currently suspended from the African Union.

    Slowly progressing towards “The Africa We Want”.


Source: Mark Anthony Johnson



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