36 out of 55 countries on the African Continent have deposited their instrument of ratification with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
This means these countries have legally accepted to open their markets, reduce barrieriers to trade and adhere to the rules of AfCFTA.
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is projected to become the largest free trade area in the world.
Currently, African countries trade 85% with the world and only 15% within the continent.
With the continentâ€™s population of about 1.3 billion, its combined GDP accrues at 2.5 trillion dollars however, riding on the back of the AfCFTA the continentâ€™s combined GDP will be 29 trillion dollars by 2050.
For this projection to come to fruition, a majority of the 55 countries on the continent must come on board.
Speaking at the 2021 Ghana International Petroleum Conference under the theme, â€œPositioning Africaâ€™s Petroleum Downstream for AFCFTA, General Secretary of the AfCFTA, Wamkele Mene said already 36 countries on the continent have fully agreed to the rules of engagement for AfCFTA.
This he says is a huge feat in the process of promoting intra-African trade.
â€œWe now have 36 out of 55 countries that have deposited their instruments of ratification which means that they have legally accepted the obligations to open their markets, reduce their barriers to trade, to reduce barriers to investment and to adhere to this single set of rules for trade and investment on the African continent. This is an unprecedented achievement for Africa,â€ he said.
Also speaking at the conference, Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia opined that the success of the AfCFTA depends on the harmony between industry and policymakers.
â€œThe AfCFTA provides industry with a perfect opportunity to contribute towards the realization of a first-world Africa as continental multilateral policies are formed, success will always depend on the operational framework and the commitment of all actors. The AfCFTA is a decision of the authority of Heads of States, but its success depends on the work of industry and the collaboration of industry and bureaucrats at the implementation level,â€ he added.