The 10th Extraordinary Session of the African Union Assembly was reunited last March in Rwanda to sign the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA). Twenty two countries have signed the Agreement, namely, Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Saharawi Republic, S. Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Gambia, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Nigeria, one of Africa’s largest economies, did not sign the AfCTA on the grounds of “(…) undermining local manufacturers and entrepreneurs”, took to twitter Nigeria’s president Buhari. South Africa did not sign the agreement as well, however it is committed to sign the same as soon as the internal legal processes are concluded.
AfCTA’s main purpose is to create a single market, in which it is established a free movement of people and goods and a single currency for the signatory countries. The AfCTA implementation will be divided by stages and will have several protocols, such as Intellectual Property Rights, Investment, Competition, Trade in Goods and Trade in Services.