E Pluribus Unum - Out of Many, One

Israel Osorio Rodarte is an economist in the Department of Trade and Regional Integration at the World Bank. He has more than 10 years of experience in international development, including economic diversification, structural change and analysis of the distribution of trade and macroeconomic policies. To date, all African countries have signed the AfCFTA agreement and 54 national governments have formally committed to the creation of AfCFTA, with the exception of Eritrea. The AfCFTA agreement has been ratified to date by 31 AU member states, in particular Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Egypt, eSwatini, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Saharawi Republic , Sao Tome – Principle, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, The Gambia, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe. While the AfCFTA came into force on 30 May 2019, the AU`s extraordinary afCFTA summit, held on 7 July 2019 in Niamey, launched the AfCFTA operational phase with the agreement that AfCFTA exchanges will begin on 1 July 2020 and has decided to assign the AfCFTA secretariat to Accra Ghana. On July 21, 2018, five other nations signed the agreement, including South Africa. At the time, the Nigerian government stressed that its non-participation was a delay, not a withdrawal, and promised to sign the agreement quickly. [57] As the Minister of Foreign Affairs had previously pointed out, the Nigerian government intended to continue its discussions with local businesses to ensure the purchase of the agreement by the private sector. [58] Africa`s continental free trade area only came into force when 22 of the signatory countries ratified the agreement, which took place in April 2019, when The Gambia was the 22nd country to ratify it. [67] In August 2020, there are 54 signatories, of which at least 30 have ratified and 28 have tabled their ratification instruments. [69] [70] [71] The three countries that have ratified their ratifications but have not yet tabled are Cameroon, Angola and Somalia,[71] although Morocco is also ratified.

[73] [74] The 12th African Union Extraordinary Meeting on AfCFTA was convened to bring the new agreement into its operational phase, which was held in Niamey on 7 July 2019. [40] [41] Several committees have been established for trade in goods, trade in services, rules of origin, remedial measures, non-tariff barriers, technical barriers to trade, and health and plant health measures. [39] Dispute resolution rules and procedures are still being negotiated, but should also include the appointment of a dispute resolution authority. [35] The Committee of Senior Trade Officials implements the Council`s decisions.

 

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