Companies frustrated by trade barriers could use a “non-tariff barrier mechanism” in the agreement to signal commitments on trade problems and ask for solutions, Muchanga says. 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. [25] The signing of the Framework Protocol does not immediately create a free trade area. Countries have yet to conclude negotiations on protocols on trade in goods and services, intellectual property rights, investment and competition. According to Maryla Maliszewska, an economist at the World Bank and lead author of the report, African countries should have an interest in advancing the free trade area. “Trade is important to build sufficient resilience to future shocks,” the economist said. The idea of trade should not be terrifying until later. “This is a decisive factor in the resumption of the pandemic.” The perimeter of the AfCFTA is important.

The agreement will reduce tariffs between Member States and cover policy areas such as trade facilitation and services, as well as regulatory measures such as hygiene standards and technical barriers to trade. Full implementation of AfCFTA would transform markets and economies across the region and boost production in the services, manufacturing and raw materials sectors. There is another reason why the pandemic is an opportunity for the free trade area: it has shown the partners – sometimes painfully – what they have forgotten or neglected in the negotiations, for example in the services sector. “We realized that we missed a very important sector, namely the health sector,” says Chief Councillor Sebahizi. There is no doubt that health will play an important role in future discussions. Yulia Vnukova advises the World Bank in the Department of Trade and Regional Integration (ETIRI). Based on more than a decade of experience, Yulia`s current work focuses on trade policy and regional integration, focusing on macroeconomic and microeconomic analyses of trade, trade and sectoral competitiveness, global value chains and private sector development in emerging countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. After the Kigali summit, more signatures were added for the AfCFTA. At the African Union summit in Nouakchott on 1 July 2018, five other nations, including South Africa, joined the agreement. Kenya and Ghana were the first nations to ratify the agreement and file their ratifications on 10 May 2018.

[2] Of the signatories, 22 had to ratify the agreement in order for it to enter into force, and it happened on 29 April 2019, when Sierra Leone and the Arab Democratic Republic of the Sahara ratified the agreement. [7] As a result, the agreement came into force 30 days later on 30 May 2019; At that time, only Benin, Nigeria and Eritrea had not signed.