|Overview : |
The African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) entered into force on 30 May 2019 following 54 out of 54 Member States signing the Agreement on 21 March 2018. The AfCFTA which effectively commenced on 1 January 2021, is based on, among other principles, the principle of acquis; which means the existing regional economic groupings including the East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) are the building blocks for this Agreement. The AfCFTA among other things aims to achieve: a single continent-wide market for goods and services and to promote the movement of capital and natural persons; redress trade imbalances amongst the Member States in the course of implementation; including establishing formidable presence in international markets. On the other hand, this Agreement also introduces a detailed legal framework that defined roles and responsibility and governs implementation. This initiative is therefore expected to support strengthening industrial sector; diversify production; and job creation.
It is in this regard, the AfCFTA is considered as a game changer in terms of fast tracking the pursuit of integration at regional and continental level. This is due to the fact that, the continental free trade area has been acknowledged as a key driver in realizing the following: the ambition of politically, economically, socially and culturally integrated African continent with the resulting developmental gains; and the structural transformation and industrialization of Africa as envisaged in AU Agenda 2063. It is envisioned that the AfCFTA brings varied opportunities in transforming the continent by alleviating poverty through boosting economic growth by supporting strengthening industrial sector, diversify production, availing job opportunities for millions of Africans, including informal cross border traders and accelerate the development of the continent in general.........etc.....etc