In March this year, African countries including top largest economies such as South Africa joined their fellow African Union member countries to sign the historic African Continental Free Trade Area – expected to increase flow of goods and movement of people on the continent.
“Great news. Got notification from Chief Negotiator. South Africa Parliament has approved ratification of the AfCFTA Agreement. Formal deposit to be done during side event at February 2019 African Union Summit. Momentum towards One African Market growing,” tweeted Amb. Albert Muchanga – Commissioner for Trade and Industry at the African Union Commission.
Once South Africa submits its papers of ratification to the African Union Commission – it will open gates for Africans to an economy of $341.216 billion.
Meanwhile, according to Rwanda’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and East African Community, Olivier Nduhungirehe, South Africa’s ratification will bring the number of countries that ratified the agreement to seven.
The ones that have ratified the agreement are; Rwanda, Chad, Eswatini and Kenya. Others are Niger and Ghana.
A total number of 55 African countries have to ratify the agreement.
Addressing the first ordinary session of the fifth Pan-African Parliament in the capital Kigali, President Paul Kagame who is the current chairperson of the African Union, sought the MPs support in ensuring every member state finalizes the agreement.
“I would like to ask for your support for the speedy ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons and other key pillars of Agenda 2063,” he said.