AfCFTA reaches minimum threshold to enter into force | Adams.Africa Advisory
Against the backdrop of Africa's significantly low levels of intra-jurisdiction trade, the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) have been acknowledged across the continent. Of the 52 states that have signed the consolidated text of the Agreement – enabling the establishing of the AfCFTA – 22 have now complied with their domestic requirements for the ratification of the agreement. In early April, The Gambia became the 22nd country to ratify thereby reaching the minimum threshold for entry into force, with the agreement set to become operational on 30 May 2019, marking 30 days after the 22nd ratification.
While there is much optimism regarding the potential impact of the AfCFTA, investors need to remain cognisant of the potential economic risks, such as those voiced by Nigeria's private sector and trade unions, pressuring the government not to ratify the agreement. The concern raised pertains to the impact of continent-wide competition on local businesses, employment and poverty. Questions surrounding execution of the agreement across borders abound, with the first test surrounding origin country preferential treatment of goods, followed by discussions on import tariffs.
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