Gambia’s parliament on Tuesday approved the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), becoming the 22nd nation to do so, and effectively meeting the minimum threshold for the agreement to come into force.
The AfCFTA which was enacted last year, seeks to create the largest trade zone in the world, increase intra-African trade by 52% by the year 2022 and remove tariffs on 90% of goods.
African Union’s Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Albert Muchanga led celebrations of the historic achievement, posting on his office Twitter account that ‘the AfCFTA market is ready for launch of its operational phase in July this year’.
A summary of AfCFTA’s progress
- 52 countries have signed the AfCFTA agreement
- 22 countries have ratified the agreement as of April 2,2019
- 15 countries have deposited their instruments of AfCFTA ratification with the AU
- 7 countries including Gambia have received parliamentary approval for ratification but are yet to deposit instruments with AU.
- Eritrea, Nigeria and Benin are yet to sign the AfCFTA agreement
- The AfCFTA Agreement will enter into force, 30 days after the required number of ratifications have been deposited with the AU.
Celebrating the milestone
1/2 – Good news! The Parliament of The Gambia has APPROVED ratification of #AfCFTA Agreement making us meet the minimum threshold. The AfCFTA market is being born and is one step ready for launch of its operational phase in July this year.— Amb. Albert Muchanga (@AmbMuchanga) April 2, 2019
Africa made it. With The Gambia ratification endorsed by Parliament it took 1 year for the minimum required number for the #AfCFTA to enter into force. This is an absolute record for these type of agreements. Let us not forget this one is the largest ever by the # of adherents. pic.twitter.com/NdEboXq3HY— Carlos Lopes (@LopesInsights) April 2, 2019
Gambia has become the 22nd country to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Area (#AfCFTA), meaning it has entered into force…and the hard part begins. Still, cause to celebrate??????— Charles Onyango-Obbo (@cobbo3) April 2, 2019
Posterity will recall this day.22 ratifications threshold attained.Thirty days from today the Africa Continental Free Trade Area enters into force . Africa showing the way #AfCFTA https://t.co/KlS1ogN5Qw— Donald Kaberuka (@DonaldKaberuka) April 2, 2019
The #golden22 #AfCFTA live. 1.2b mkt. #Africa in news #transitions #trade #change. now implementation ? #theGambia. Breaking geographic, logistic & regulatory barriers #theafricawewant— Dr. Vera Songwe (@SongweVera) April 2, 2019
AUTradeIndustryATPC Impossible until it is done” N. Mandela. pic.twitter.com/mxwn72IiTm
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Continental Free Trade Agreement aka #AfCFTA is now in force, thanks to a record 22 nations signing on??, with Gambia taking the step in bringing us closer to a more perfect Pan African Union??.— Nshuti Mbabazi (@LucyMbabazi) April 2, 2019
Now EXECUTION – Lets do this Africa, We CAN??. https://t.co/JQIHKihnCe