About the AfCFTA

In January 2012, The Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) held its 18th Ordinary Session in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and adopted the decision for the establishment of an African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). It brings 55 African Countries , 1.2 billion combined population and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) exceeding US$3.4 trillion.

An Extra Ordinary Summit of the AU Assembly  held on 21 March 2018, in Kigali, Rwanda, led to the signing of the framework Agreement establishing the AfCFTA .

  • The AfCFTA is negotiated in the following three phases.
  1. Trade in Goods; Trade in Services; and Dispute Settlement
  2. Competition Policy; Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and Investment
  3.  E-Commerce
  • Objectives:
  1. Progressively liberalize the market for goods and services
  2. Create a single market for goods services and free movement of persons
  3. Mobility of Capital, natural persons and facilitation of investment
  4. Foundation of a continental customs union at a later stage
  5. Promotion of industrial development through diversification and regional value chain development, agricultural development and food security
  6. Resolving challenges of multiple and overlapping memberships as well as accelerating the regional and continental integration processes
  • Signatures and Ratifications
  1. 54 countries including all 15 ECOWAS Member states have signed. Eritrea yet to sign
  2. 28 African Countries including 10 ECOWAS Member States have ratified and deposited instruments of ratification thus becoming State Parties
  3. ECOWAS Countries yet to ratify are Benin; Cabo Verde; Guinea-Bissau; Liberia; and Nigeria


Go to AfCFTA