The Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) reached a milestone in the second week of April, 2019 after attaining the minimum number of ratifications needed to come into force. This was after Gambia became the 22nd state to ratify the agreement.
AfCFTA was signed by 49 of 55 Africa Union member states in Kigali, Rwanda in March 2018. It seeks to create the largest trade zone in the world. The agreement will create a market of 1.2 billion people and a combined gross domestic product of US$2.5 trillion on the continent.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) says AfCFTA is projected to increase intra-African trade by 52% by the year 2022 and will remove tariffs on 90% of goods.
The African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry Albert Muchanga says “AfCFTA market is being born and is one step ready for launch of its operational phase in July this year.”