The Framework for the Implementation of the AfCFTA
International trade is about commerce across the borders of sovereign States, which have jurisdiction over their own territory. Trade happens primarily through private initiative and funds. When States conclude trade agreements, they lay down the ground rules for unlocking new business opportunities beyond national boundaries. But the conclusion of a new trade pact is only a starting point; there must be follow-up action and harmonisation of national rules and policies. The institutions created to guide and oversee the implementation of a new trade deal are important for determining whether the new scheme of things will be a success and to what extent this will happen.
The relevant provisions in the AfCFTA Agreement contain important clues about the procedures that these institutions will follow, about decision-making, operations, the monitoring of compliance, and subsequent developments such as the deepening of economic integration on the whole continent. The benefits and outcomes of the AfCFTA depend on the obligations of individual State Parties as well as how the relevant governmental institutions will function. It is necessary to know what their responsibilities and powers are and what tasks they are expected to perform.
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