AfCFTA overstayed a hurdle last year when Nigeria left the country a few days before the agreement was signed. With Nigeria`s signature, AfCFTA`s dream of increasing intra-African trade, currently below the continent`s trade volume with Europe, has taken a step forward. Forty-four African countries have recently signed a Framework Protocol for the Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) that brings the continent closer to becoming one of the largest free trade zones in the world. MAN President Frank Jacobs told Nigerian media that the country`s private sector had not been consulted on afCFTA and warned that the deal could kill Nigerian industry and fuel unemployment. He said the government needed to explain its plan to protect 10% of the products and enforce the rules of origin provision. Maryla Maliszewska , lead author, is a senior economist in Trade and Regional Integration Unit (ETIRI) at the World Bank. His area of expertise covers various aspects of trade policy and regional integration, with particular emphasis on the impact of trade on poverty and income distribution. Paul Brenton is a leading economist in the World Bank`s Trade and Regional Integration Unit (ETIRI). It focuses on analytical and operational work in the area of trade and regional integration.
In 1963, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was founded by the independent states of Africa. The aim of the OAU was to promote cooperation between African states. The 1980 Lagos Action Plan was adopted by the organization. The plan proposed that Africa minimize its dependence on the West by encouraging intra-African trade. It began with the creation of a number of regional cooperation organizations in different parts of Africa, such as the Conference on the Coordination of Southern African Development. Finally, in 1991, this led to the Abuja Treaty, which founded the African Economic Community, an organization that encouraged the development of free trade zones, customs union, an African Central Bank and a common African monetary union.   In order to ensure effective implementation, the AU will establish an AfCFTA secretariat, consisting of an African Economic Council, a trade observatory and a dispute resolution body. You also get rid of quotas, so there is no limit to the amount of trade you can trade.
At the Kigali Summit, areas of agreement were reached on trade protocols, dispute settlement procedures, customs cooperation, trade facilitation and rules of origin. This was part of Phase I of the agreement, which deals with the liberalisation of goods and services. There was also a consensus on reducing tariffs to 90% of all goods. Each nation can exclude 3% of the goods from this agreement.  “In addition to the increase in GDP and trade figures, this contributes to the creation of jobs for the African youth population, in a very practical sense,” said Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the ECA, in an interview with Africa Renewal.