• African leaders kick off operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA.
  • AU also ratifies five operational instruments of the AfCFTA
  • Ghana selected as the host of the secretariat of the AfCFTA.

The operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA has kicked off with five instruments.

In a statement issued at the end of the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of African Union Heads of State and Government, Africa leaders revealed five operational instruments that will govern the activities of the AfCFTA.

The five operational instruments include;

  • Rules of Origin
  • Online negotiating forum
  • Monitoring and elimination of non-tariff barriers
  • Digital payments system 
  • African Trade Observatory. 

The leaders also picked Ghana as the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

According to the release, each one was launched by different Heads of State and Government that included President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi of Egypt who is the current Chairperson of the AU; Mr. Moussa Faki Makamat, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission; and President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, who is the Champion of the AfCFTA.

“The speedy entry into force of the AfCFTA is a source of pride for all of us”, said AU Commission Chairperson Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat. 

AU leaders in Niger (Twitter/_AfricanUnion)
AU leaders in Niger (Twitter/_AfricanUnion)
Twitter/African Union

The Chairperson also highlighted the importance of peace building and security on the continent, adding that “it would be a delusion to talk of trade and development without peace and security”

Nigeria joined signatory to the African free trade pact on Sunday after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the landmark document at the AU summit in Niger.

The AfCFTA agreement was adopted and opened for signature on March 21, 2018, in Kigali. The AfCFTA entered into force on May 30, 2019. 

The agreement seeks to cut tariffs within the bloc, boosts trade, eliminate border barriers and create the world's largest free trade area.