Eritrea now only hold-out state but feelers are that it would also sign soon

By Tajudeen Hamzat

Ahead of the opening of the landmark session of the African Union, AU in Niamey, Niger Republic this weekend, the Republic of Benin has indicated that it would also be signing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA.

The capitulation by Benin Republic, which is coming on the heels of a similar expression of intent to sign by regional powerhouse, Nigeria, now brings the total number of signed and signing states to 54.

The Difference can confirm also that enormous pressure is also being brought to bear upon the last hold-out state in the continent, Eritrea to similarly give in and assent to the treaty which aims at institutionalising a 1.2billion people Free Trade Area.

Analysts say that with this phase of the process almost completed, the continent’s top business technocrats and negotiators can now settle in to the tough grind of fine-tuning the specific details of the policy measures that would drive operations in what is arguably the world’s largest free trade area.

President Patrice Talon of Benin Republic




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