African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a free trade area, outlined in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement among 52 of the 55 African Union nations.

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The agreement was brokered by the African Union (AU) and was signed on by 44 of its 55 member states in Kigali, Rwanda on March 21, 2018. The agreement initially requires members to remove tariffs from 90% of goods, allowing free access to commodities, goods, and services across the continent.

Significance

The free-trade area is the largest in the world in terms of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organization.The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa estimates that the agreement will boost intra-African trade by 52 percent by 2022.

The agreement went into force on May 30 and will enter its operational phase following a summit on July 7, 2019.