African Union Free Trade Agreement

The AU Commission (AUC), in particular the AUC`s Ministry of Trade and Industry (DTI), is responsible for coordinating activities related to BIAT and AfCFTA. The project advises the AUC Trade Commissioner on strategic policy and interest representation issues by dismissing a regional trade advisor in the ITD structures. It also supports afCFTA`s negotiating unit by sending an expert in cooperation and trade facilitation to prepare for the negotiations. Phase I negotiation issues for trade in goods and services are supported by a number of mechanisms such as technical tailored advisory skills. B the organisation of training, seminars and workshops or selective financial support. A second challenge is the East African community. Of the six members, only three have ratified the AfCFTA. Given that the regional bloc of the EAC is a customs union and therefore has a common external customs duty (CET), without further ratification of afCFTA by the other three Member States, the integrity of the CET will be problematic. In principle, rules of origin may limit this problem, but their liberal application will increase bureaucratic overheads and increase the risk of trade diversion (trade being diverted from a more efficient exporter to a less efficient exporter because of the different tariffs applied).

This could reduce the benefits of AfCFTA. The more harmonised trade policy in East Africa, the better, as it will facilitate further regional economic integration and pave the way for the final creation of an African customs union, as envisaged in the AfCFTA agreement. In 1963, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was founded by the independent states of Africa. The aim of the OAU was to promote cooperation between African states. The 1980 Lagos Action Plan was adopted by the organization. The plan proposed that Africa minimize its dependence on the West by encouraging intra-African trade. It began with the creation of a number of regional cooperation organizations in different parts of Africa, such as the Conference on the Coordination of Southern African Development. Finally, in 1991, this led to the Abuja Treaty, which founded the African Economic Community, an organization that encouraged the development of free trade zones, customs union, an African Central Bank and a common African monetary union. [21] The agreement was negotiated by the African Union (AU) and signed on 21 March 2018 by 44 of its 55 member states in Kigali, Rwanda. [15] [16] The agreement first requires members to remove tariffs on 90% of goods, allowing free access to goods, goods and services across the continent. [15] The UN Economic Commission for Africa estimates that the agreement will boost intra-African trade by 52% by 2022. [17] The proposal is expected to enter into force 30 days after ratification by 22 of the signatory states.

[15] On 2 April 2019, The Gambia became the 22nd state to ratify the Convention[18] and on 29 April, the Sahrawi Republic tabled the 22nd filing of ratification instruments; The agreement entered into force on 30 May and entered its operational phase following a summit on 7 July 2019. [19] The Secretariat of the African Continentless Trade Area (AfCFTA) has officially opened an important step in the full implementation of the free trade agreement in Accra, Ghana. The reasons for this neglect of these neighbouring markets are quite clear and go beyond the usual considerations of low per capita income.