The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is a historic agreement signed by African countries in 2018 with the aim of creating a single market for goods and services across the continent. The agreement seeks to promote intra-African trade and deepen economic integration among African nations.
The implementation of the AfCFTA agreement is a complex process that involves various stages and timelines. Here is a timeline of the key implementation milestones of the agreement.
January 1, 2021: Trading under the AfCFTA agreement began on January 1, 2021, albeit only partially. The first phase of the AfCFTA agreement covers trade in goods and services, intellectual property rights, and competition policy. The agreement aims to eliminate tariffs on 90 percent of goods traded within the continent. However, tariffs on sensitive products such as rice, maize, and sugar will still be in place for some countries.
July 1, 2021: This day marks the launch of the second phase of the AfCFTA agreement, which includes protocols on investment, e-commerce, and competition policy. The second phase also includes a dispute resolution mechanism and trade facilitation measures to reduce non-tariff barriers to trade.
2022: The third phase of the AfCFTA agreement is scheduled to start in 2022. This phase will focus on the free movement of persons, services, and finance. It will also include the establishment of a continental customs union and a single currency.
2023: By 2023, African countries are expected to harmonize their trade policies and regulations to ensure that they are consistent with the AfCFTA agreement. This process will involve a review of existing trade policies and the creation of new policies to align with the agreement.
2030: The AfCFTA agreement aims to create a single market for goods and services across Africa by 2030. The agreement is expected to boost intra-African trade and create new opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs on the continent.
In conclusion, the implementation of the AfCFTA agreement is a multi-year process that requires the cooperation and commitment of all African nations. The agreement has the potential to transform the African economy and create new opportunities for businesses and individuals alike. It is important for African countries to work together to ensure the successful implementation of the agreement and reap its benefits.