The implementation of afCFTA, although delayed by the COVID 19 pandemic, is expected to resume in January 2021, with the initial focus on facilitating trade for small and medium-sized enterprises, which account for 90% of the jobs created on the continent. But the world that AfCFTA will address in January will be very different from the world in which it was conceived. There are more challenges than ever before, especially with the economic destruction of the pandemic – „an unprecedented health and economic crisis,“ the International Monetary Fund said, „which threatens to take the region off, reverses the progress of recent years and slows the region`s growth prospects in the years to come.“ Free download. Use free acrobat Reader adobe to view this PDF file that Yulia Vnukova consults in the World Bank`s Commerce and Regional Integration Department (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. Several committees have been established for trade in goods, trade in services, rules of origin, trade policy measures, non-tariff barriers, technical barriers to trade, and health and plant health measures.  Dispute resolution rules and procedures are still being negotiated, but should also include the appointment of a dispute resolution authority.  The Committee of Senior Trade Officials implements the Council`s decisions. The Committee is responsible for the development of programmes and action plans for the implementation of the AfCFTA agreement.  He said that Africa`s prosperity depends largely on intra-African trade.
„Increased trade is the safest way to deepen regional integration in Africa. On July 21, 2018, five other nations signed the agreement, including South Africa. At the time, the Nigerian government stressed that its non-participation was a delay, not a withdrawal, and promised to sign the agreement quickly.  As the Minister of Foreign Affairs had previously pointed out, the Nigerian government intended to continue its discussions with local businesses to ensure the purchase of the agreement by the private sector.  The Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)  is a free trade area with 28 countries starting in 2018.     It was created by the African Free Trade Agreement between 54 of the 55 african union nations.  The free trade area is the largest in the world, in terms of the number of participating countries since the creation of the World Trade Organization.  Accra, Ghana, is the secretariat of AFCFTA and was commissioned by Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo on 18 August 2020 in Accra and handed over to the AU. „We are now the largest free trade area in the world since the creation of the World Trade Organization and we must count it,“ the president said. Ghana`s Minister of Trade and Industry Alan Kyerematen listed the benefits of a free trade area in Africa, including an increase of up to 52% in intra-African trade by 2022, consolidation of currently fragmented markets, economies of scale, the added value of African natural resources and economic diversification.
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.