BusinessConnect 2035

It is clear that we must find an African solution to Africa’s problems, and this can be only found in African unity. Divided, we are weak; united, Africa could become one of the greatest forces for good in the world.” (Dr Kwame Nkrumah)

The agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (« AfCFTA ») was signed by 44 African countries. The treaty entered into force on 30 May 2019 following the ratification of the treaty by the 22nd country. The launch of the operational phase of the AfCFTA took place during the African Union summit in Niamey on 7 July 2019. To this date, 36 countries have ratified the treaty, and trading officially started on 1 January 2021.

The objective of the free trade zone is to expand intra-African trade with the elimination of tariffs, enabling free movement of goods, liberalization of services and free movement of people and capital throughout the African continent. The AfCFTA includes a framework agreement and three (3) protocols.

The framework of the AfCFTA is set and the objectives for the African continent are very clear. It is now for the actors of intra-African trade to implement and own the AfCFTA and to be aware of the advantages and opportunities offered by the free-trade zone. It is important that the private sector (micro, small and medium enterprises and larger international companies) participates actively in the implementation process of the AfCFTA.