(Ecofin Agency) - The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is going to be officially operational from July next year. This was announced last week at the African Union extraordinary summit held in Niamey, Niger.
Nigeria, Benin, Gabon, and E. Guinea signed the agreement yesterday July 7, and became the latest countries to join what is seen as the biggest integrated market in the world.
Before the AfCFTA gets operational, the Heads of State will pursue negotiations, and harmonize their national legislations in order to ease its effective implementation. Ghana has been chosen to host the Permanent Secretariat, but other points such as the exact date of customs duties’ reduction, identification of duty-free products, establishment of competition rules and arbitration mechanisms in the event of a conflict must also be defined.
“I agree with the proposal of the Executive Council designating Ghana as our choice to host the AfCFTA Secretariat. I congratulate them as well. Our task now is to finalise the remaining negotiations and operational instruments in a timely manner,” said Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda.
To date, only Eritrea has not yet joined the deal.
Moutiou Adjibi Nourou