Forty-four countries sign historic African Union free trade agreement

African countries are set to put their signature to an agreement that will launch the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Kigali, Rwanda, on Wednesday.

The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has estimated the agreement’s implementation could increase intra-African trade by 52 percent by 2022, compared with trade levels in 2010.

Here’s what you need to know about the biggest trade agreement signed since the World Trade Organisation (WTO) was established.

What is AfCFTA?

African heads of government agreed to establish a continental free trade area in 2012 and started negotiations in 2015.

The agreement is set to be signed by all 55 member states of the African Union, bringing together 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of more than $2 trillion.

The draft agreement commits countries to removing tariffs on 90 percent of goods, with 10 percent of “sensitive items” to be phased in later.

Read more about the momentous news

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *