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African Union Join Hands to Make Continet Free Trade Area

Published on March 23, 2018
Out of 55 members of the African Union, 44 members signed the  African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) during a summit of the African Union in Kigali, Rwanda. But 10 countries, including Nigeria, have refused to sign the deal.

These members pledged to make Africa the largest free trade bloc by using the potential to bring over 1.2bn people together into the same market. 
African Union Join Hands to Make Continet Free Trade Area

Significance of AfCFTA

  • Currently, the trade between African countries is relatively low. It accounts for only 10% of all commerce on the continent - compared with 25% in south-east Asia. It will improve the trade between African countries as 27 member states have agreed to provide free movement of the persons. It will also reduce the barriers like import duties and non-tarrifs from the path of free trade and it will definitely boost commerce, trade and employment.  
  • It will create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments and will also encourage the competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level through exploitation of opportunities for scale production, continental market access and better reallocation of resources.
  • Once implemented, AfCFTA will then think of following the path of the European Union. 

Background of AfCFTA

During the 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in January 2012, the member adopted a decision to establish a Continental Free Trade Area by an indicative date of 2017. The Summit also endorsed the Action Plan on Boosting Intra-Africa Trade (BIAT) which identifies seven priority action clusters: trade policy, trade facilitation, productive capacity, trade related infrastructure, trade finance, trade information, and factor market integration.

Expected Questions

How many member does African Union have in total?
a. 60
b. 45
c. 55
d. 39

How many member of the African Union agreed to make the continent free trade area with the help of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)?
a. 38
b. 44
d. 56
c. 29
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