Implication Of African Free Trade Agreement To Nigeria

African leaders from 44 African nations met at the African Union summit in Kigali, Rwanda, March 17-21, 2018, and signed the Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) for the creation of the world`s largest internal market. The agreement will be the largest trade agreement in history since the creation of the World Trade Organization. (1) There appears to be some reluctance on the part of some African countries to ratify the AfCFTA agreement. As of December 2019, only 30 of the 54 African countries that have signed AfCFTA have also ratified it. Some countries with important markets, such as Nigeria, have delayed the signing of the AfCFTA treaty and have not exercised any urgency when the treaty is ratified. This postponement of the AfCFTA negotiating date could be an excuse for countries with a trade programme similar to Nigeria`s to further delay ratification of the treaty. Please read our previous article on the effects of AfCFTA non-ratification here. “The ratification of AfCFTA in Nigeria is a positive development, but the country`s commitment to intra-African trade should also be reflected in the reopening of its land borders,” said Landry Signé, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “The reopening of the borders will send a strong signal to Nigeria`s intentions… “to boost intra-African trade.” In this newsletter, we discussed the provisions of the AfCFTA agreement and the potential impact on Nigeria in light of Nigeria`s particular trading environment. Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo told Kigali media: “This is where our salvation lies: trade between them and therefore the development of our economies. This agreement will lead to a change in the perception of the continent by the rest of the world. The signing of the framework protocol will not immediately create a free trade area.

Countries have yet to conclude negotiations on protocols on trade in goods and services, intellectual property rights, investment and competition. The free movement of people, goods and services within the continent is at the heart of AfCFTA`s objectives.

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