AFDB approves $4.8 million grant for the smooth take-off of African free trade
London, April 11, 2019 (AltAfrica)-The Board of the African Development Bank, AFDB, has approved an institutional support grant of $4.8 million to the African Union (AU) to accelerate the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA), which received its 22nd ratification on 2 April, bringing the agreement into force.
The AfCFTA is a major force for continental integration. It is projected that it will expand intra-African trade by up to $35 billion per year and usher in freedom of movement for goods, services and people across the continent’s internal borders.
The full implementation of AFCTA is also expected to usher in a regime of reduced tariffs and non-tariff barriers and to cut the cost of doing business on the continent.
It will also boost agriculture and industrial exports by up to $66 billion per year.
The Bank’s grant is targeted at laying the institutional foundations for the AfCFTA implementation secretariat and the roll out of the implementation programmes.
“The momentum is now in full swing”, said Andoh Mensah, Manager, Trade and Investment Climate Division at the African Development Bank, “It is now crucial to establish a robust, efficient, purpose-driven secretariat, capable of addressing improved stakeholder engagement, inclusiveness and ownership in the AfCFTA implementation”.
The grant will also assist efforts towards full ratification of the agreement by all AU member states including the application of tariff reductions and related commitments, while generating stakeholder support for the AfCFTA to ensure inclusiveness and common ownership.
This is a decisive response to the call by African political leaders for the Bank and other partners to support the AU Commission and work assiduously towards the realization of AfCFTA objectives.
The African Continental Free Trade Area is set to come into force as the requirement for the minimum number of countries required to ratify the agreement has been fulfilled
Gambia became the 22nd African Union member to ratify the AfCFTA after its parliament members approved the agreement on Tuesday April 2nd, 2019
The AfCFTA trade agreement was signed by African Union countries on the 21st of March 2018 in an AU summit in Kigali, Rwanda. However, the signing of the agreement last year didn’t translate to the implementation of the AfCFTA. The agreement still needed to be ratified by the parliaments of at least 22 member states of the AU before it comes into force. Gambia’s approval yesterday means that the AfCFTA can now be put into action by the African Union.
The AfCFTA will improve intra-African trade by 52 percent, and remove tariffs on 90 percent of goods. It will also encompass more than 1 billion people on the continent with a potential $2 trillion in GDP.
1/2 – Good news! The Parliament of The Gambia has APPROVED ratification of #AfCFTA Agreement making us meet the minimum threshold. The AfCFTA market is being born and is one step ready for launch of its operational phase in July this year. @AUTradeIndustry @_AfricanUnion8309:56 AM – Apr 2, 2019583 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacyView image on Twitter
Africa made it. With The Gambia ratification endorsed by Parliament it took 1 year for the minimum required number for the #AfCFTA to enter into force. This is an absolute record for these type of agreements. Let us not forget this one is the largest ever by the # of adherents.5355:52 PM – Apr 2, 2019410 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy
A year after AU member states pledged to create the world largest trading bloc – the #AfCFTA, #Gambia becomes the 22nd country to ratify it, marking the legal threshhold for this historic agreement to enter into force. I cannot overstate the significance of this achievement.6597:22 AM – Apr 3, 2019332 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy
The implementation of the agreement will begin 30 days after the 22nd country has ratified the agreement; meaning that the AfCFTA comes into full force in May. Presently, Nigeria, Eritrea, and Benin are the only countries yet to sign the AfCFTA agreement.