Building capacity to help Africa trade better


Status of AfCFTA Ratification

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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 (8) 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. 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, 12 countries have deposited their instruments of AfCFTA ratification with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission – Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Niger, Chad, Guinea, eSwatini (former Swaziland), Uganda, Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) and most recently, South Africa, Mauritania and Republic of Congo* – and an additional six (6) countries have received parliamentary approval for ratification – namely Sierra Leone, Mali, Namibia, Senegal, Togo, and Djibouti. The total number of ratifications (approved and deposited) now stands at 18.

* South Africa deposited its instrument of ratification on 10 February 2019 on the sidelines of the 32nd AU Summit in Addis Ababa. See the African Union website for details of Mauritania and Congo Republic’s deposit of AfCFTA ratification instruments (confirmation from the AU Secretariat pending).

Last updated: 11 February 2019

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