Ethiopia Signs Up Continental Free Trade Area Agreement




Ethiopia has signed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement which aimed at paving the way for a liberalized market for goods and services across the continent.

Although all the 55 members of the African Union (AU) had been involved in negotiations, the agreement was signed only by 44 countries including Ethiopia in the 10th ordinary session of the African Union Heads of Summit held in Kigali, Rwanda on March 21, 2018.

The Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), will be the largest trade area after the establishment of The World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995.

Under the theme of “Creating One African Market”, the initiative falls under the Agenda 2063 of the African Union. According to estimates, if all 55 member states of the AU ratify it, the agreement, it will bring 1.2 billion Africans together with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of more than two trillion dollars.

“This agreement is about trade in goods and services. These are the kinds of complex products that drive high-income economies,” said Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda.

African countries mostly sell primary commodities to other continents. Only 18pc of their exports are traded within Africa, where they often face high tariffs.



Published on Mar 24,2018 [ Vol 18 ,No 934]


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