Ratifications bring tally to 18, 4 to go
By Tasie Theodore
The recent ratifications by Djibouti and Ethiopia of the African Continental Free Trade Adreement, AfCFTA has lifted the hope that the treaty may presently come into effect.
This is because the ratifications bring the total number of African states that have presently completed all of the pre-operational processes for the formal take-off of the world’s single biggest free trade zone to 18.
22 ratifications are required to make the agreement, which has already been signed by 49 of the continent’s 55 states.
Continent watchers say that given the flurry of activities going on in many of the nations of the continent at the moment in respect of the three-track processes for ratifying the treaty, the four more compulsorily required ratifications to set off the process may come in over the next few weeks while many more AU member states are also expected to further turn in their own ratifications before the close of the year.
The 18 nations that have presently ratified the treaty are Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal and Sierra Leone. Others are South Africa Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, e-Swatini (formerly Switzerland), Ghana, Guinea, Togo and Uganda.
While the continent’s most populous nation and largest economy, Nigeria is still holding out on signing and ratifying the process, its co-regional bloc members from the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS Regional Economic Community, REC zone make up half of the member states that have already ratified the treaty.
Moussa Faki, Mahamat, Chairperson, AU Commission