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Building capacity to help Africa trade better

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Status of AfCFTA Ratification

Status of AfCFTA Ratification
13 Dec 2018

African leaders held an Extraordinary Summit on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) from 17-21 March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda, during which the Agreement establishing the AfCFTA was presented for signature, along with the Kigali Declaration and the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, Right to Residence and Right to Establishment. In total, 44 out of the 55 AU member states signed the consolidated text of the AfCFTA Agreement, 47 signed the Kigali Declaration and 30 signed the Protocol on Free Movement.

Since the Summit, eight countries have signed the AfCFTA Agreement – South Africa, Sierra Leone, Lesotho, Burundi, Namibia, Guinea Bissau, Botswana and Zambia – bringing the total number of signatories to 52. Eritrea, Nigeria and Tanzania have yet to sign the AfCFTA Agreement.

Twenty-two (22) ratifications are required for the Agreement to enter into force. The African Union Commission hopes to achieve the required number of ratifications by March 2019.

To date, 15 countries have deposited their instruments of AfCFTA ratification with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission – Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Niger, Chad, Congo Republic, Djibouti, Guinea, eSwatini (former Swaziland), Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) – and an additional six countries have received parliamentary approval for ratification – namely Sierra Leone, Senegal, Togo, Egypt and Zimbabwe and most recently, Ethiopia. The total number of ratifications (approved and deposited) now stands at 21, just 1 shy of the 22 required for entry into force.

Last updated: 21 March 2019

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