Nigeria on verge of signing AfCFTA trade agreement

JOHANNESBURG, May 28 (ANA) – Nigeria, the African continent’s biggest economy, is set to sign the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). 

President Muhammadu Buhari green-lighted joining AfCTA after approving an impact assessment report he commissioned, the East African reported.

The trade pact will take effect at the end of the month following its ratification by 22 African countries. 

Sierra Leone became the 21st country to ratify the agreement while the Saharawi Republic became the 22nd country to ratify it which they both did on April 29.

The agreement is meant to enter into force 30 days after the 22-country threshold is reached. Signing the AfCFTA agreement is the first step, ratifying it is the next.

This progress means that during an African Union (AU) Extra-Ordinary Heads of State and Government Summit on July 7, African trade ministers will finalise work on supporting instruments to facilitate the launch of the operational phase of AfCFTA, which was launched at the AU Summit in Kigali in March 2018.

When Nigeria signs the dotted line, 53 out of 55 AU member states will have signed the agreement which aims to create a single continental market for goods and services, boost intra-African trade, investment and innovation.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa estimates that the agreement will boost intra-African trade by 52 percent by 2022.

- African News Agency 

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