Africa officially starts trading under AfCFTA

2021-01-01 15:05:26 GMT2021-01-01 23:05:26(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- The African continent on Friday started trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.

The AfCFTA, which was launched in March 2018 in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, has so far garnered 54 AU member signatories, offering new hope and continental exhilaration in terms of boosting intra-African trade, and eventually facilitating Africa's development and industrialization. Eritrea is the only non-signatory country.

Once fully operational, the African free trade accord has the potential of boosting the level of intra-Africa trade by more than 52 percent by the year 2022, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

According to the African Union (AU) Commission, the start of trading under the AfCFTA is a "fulfillment of a dream."

The Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, emphasized that the latest development related to the continental free trade pact "is the fulfillment of the dream long aspired by the founding fathers of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), who have always wanted to create an African common market." The OAU is the predecessor to the AU.

"This shows the determination by member states to quickly achieve the economic integration of the continent," the Chairperson said on Dec. 5 following African leaders' approval that trading under AfCFTA agreement should start on January 1, 2021. Enditem