African Free Trade Agreement Implementation


The African free trade agreement (AfCFTA) is a historic agreement that aims to create a single market for goods and services across the continent of Africa. The agreement was signed by 54 of the 55 African Union (AU) member states in March 2018, with Eritrea being the only country that did not sign. The AfCFTA is expected to boost intra-African trade, create jobs and drive economic growth.

After the signing of the agreement, the next phase was the implementation process. The implementation process has been slow due to various challenges such as lack of infrastructure, border disputes, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the challenges, progress has been made towards the implementation of the AfCFTA. The African Union has set up a secretariat to oversee the implementation process, and member states have been working towards signing the necessary protocols.

One of the major protocols that have been signed is the Protocol on Trade in Goods. This protocol aims to eliminate tariffs on 90% of goods traded between African countries over a five-year period. This will boost intra-African trade, which is currently at 15%, compared to the European Union`s intra-regional trade, which is at 68%.

Another important protocol that has been signed is the Protocol on Rules and Procedures on the Settlement of Disputes. This protocol aims to establish a dispute settlement mechanism for resolving trade disputes between member states. This will help to reduce border disputes and increase trade between member states.

One of the challenges to the implementation process is the lack of infrastructure, especially roads and border facilities. The African Development Bank (AfDB) has committed to investing $4.7 billion in infrastructure projects across the continent to improve connectivity and trade.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also affected the implementation process, with lockdowns and travel restrictions slowing down the movement of goods and people. However, member states have been working to ensure that trade continues despite the pandemic.

In conclusion, the implementation of the African free trade agreement is a historic moment for the continent. The agreement has the potential to transform the African economy and create jobs. While there are challenges to the implementation process, progress has been made, and member states are committed to ensuring the success of the agreement. The AfCFTA is a step towards a more integrated and prosperous Africa.