The Executive Council of the African Union has accepted Ghana’s bid to host the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) at the ongoing AU Summit in Niamey, Niger. The decision has been recommended to the Heads of State and Governments for approval.
The following countries, Kenya, Ghana, eSwatini, Madagascar, Egypt, Ethiopia and Senegal put in a bid to host the secretariat. But Ethiopia and Senegal pulled out.
The African Union will launch the operational phase of the AfCFTA on July 7, 2019 at the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government in Niamey.
So far, 52 countries out of the 55 states have signed the free trade agreement which came into force in May 2019. Nigeria has announced its intention to sign, leaving two countries, Benin and Eritrea yet to sign the Agreement. 24 countries have ratified and deposited their instruments of ratification with the African Union.
The AfCFTA will remove barriers and tariffs and open up trade in Africa for the continent’s more than 1.2 billion people.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
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