AU Summit: AfCFTA’s operational phase launched in Niamey

July 9th, 2019

APS : Monday, 08 July 2019

NIAMEY-The operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was launched Sunday in Niamey as part of the 12th Extraordinary Summit of the African Union (AU).
Prime Minister Nourredine Bedoui, Representative of Head of State Abdelkader Bensalah at AU Extraordinary Summit, took part in this operational launch.
Bedoui was accompanied by Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum and Trade Minister Said Djellab.
The AfCFTA came into force on 30 May with the aim to create a single market for goods and services in the continent for 1.2 billion people, and thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the Customs Union.
The intra-African trade represents currently about 16% of the continent’s total trade.
The AfCFTA is a continental geographical area in which goods and services are smoothly exchanged between AU’s State members.
It also aims to expand intra-African trade through better harmonization and coordination of trade liberalization across Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and across Africa in general.
The AfCFTA is also expected to enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level through exploitation of opportunities for scale production, continental market access and better reallocation of resources.
The area will gradually eliminate tariffs and lower non-tariff barriers.
African leaders held an Extraordinary Summit on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) from 17 to 21 March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda, during which the Agreement establishing the AfCFTA was presented for signature, along with the Kigali Declaration and the Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community relating to the Free Movement of Persons, Right to Residence and Right to Establishment.