AfCFTA: African Union braces for July 7 launch


World prepares for the day after the launch of historic agreement

By Tajudeen Hamzat

Member states of the African Union, AU are bracing for the launch this weekend of the landmark African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA.

52 of the continent’s 55 nations have already signed up for the scheme with the final three expected to sign up at this summit.

Teething problems are not unexpected, one of which would be how to drive the process of addressing bottlenecks that had been the lot of the existing Regional Economic Communities, RECS.

These include the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, COMESA, the East African Community, EAC, the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS and Southern African Development Community, SADC.

There is also the issue of policing the rules of origin framework in the flow of manufactured goods within the continent so as to prevent third party dumping and related misdemenour.

To prevent and address these challenges training and sensitisation sessions are already being conducted by several organisations and agencies. These include the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, UN-ECA and the African Development Bank, ADB.

Despite these challenges however, the consensus of opinions among informed analysts is that Africa as a continent has never really gotten this far in its common economic development aspirations and indeed all hands now have to be on deck to see to the successful launch, take-off and implementation of the scheme.

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