African leaders have ratified a historic agreement which will establish a huge pan-continental free trade area at Kigali, Rwanda by 44 African nations. The Agreement will help create One African market and will give a major boost to the economic growth.
The African Union Commission Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat has stated that the agreement will give the much-awaited lifting of barriers which had separated the continent and acted as a great impediment to economic growth. AfCFTA will require the countries should let go tariffs on 90 percent goods with 10 percent items of sensitive nature to be factored in later. The agreement will eventually lead to absolutely free movement of people across the continent and also a single currency in the free trade zone. AfCFTA will now have to be passed by individual nations. Nigeria pulled out of the signing ceremony which is a set back for the whole deal as Nigeria is one of the prominent powerhouses of the continent. It was later learnt that Nigerian Labour Congress had warned President Buhari against signing the deal.
The African Centre for Economic Transformation has stated that the deal holds great promise for transforming the future of economies of all the member nations and the continent. There are concerns about the impact of the deal on the development of domestic manufacturers and also low-cost jobs. The member states will also meet to discuss the investment, competition policy and also intellectual property.