AfCFTA to deepen Africa’s economic integration

Jennifer Inah

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The objective of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is to help deepen economic integration of the continent, improve and expand intra-Africa trade, enable rule-based engagement, facilitate dispute resolution and address poor trade practices.


The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Sector Matters and Secretary of the National Action Committee on AfCFTA, Mr. Francis Anatogu, said this at a Leadership Stakeholders’ Consultation on “Defining the Trade in Service Strategy for the AfCFTA”.


Mr Anatogu said the agreement will serve as the foundation for the establishment of a continental Customs Union.


He expressed optimism that, if effectively implemented, the AfCFTA will result in the elimination of tariffs on 90 percent of tariff lines, adding that product-specific rules of origin will help to grow African content.



The AfCTA, according to Mr Anatogu, will double intra-Africa trade flows, currently at 15 percent as well as double Africa’s share of world trade from three percent to six percent over the next 10 years.


A Nigerian Professor of International Economic Relations at Covenant University, who is also a consultant of ECOWAS Common Investment Market, Prof. John Aremu, urged stakeholders to facilitate the domestication of AfCFTA as enshrined in the constitution in order to ensure utmost benefits accrue to Africa Integration Emergence of AfCFTA and its Protocol.


“It is right for Nigeria to ratify the agreement. The constitution provides that such treaties entered into can only become beneficial to the nation, if it has a place inside Nigerian law to guarantee enforceability.


“If AfCFTA cannot be domesticated into the national law, it cannot be deployed in defense of cases involving their violations before courts of law in the country, neither can they be used for advocacy of rights within the country.


“Further to this, violators of AfCFTA provisions, whether they be institutions, companies or individuals cannot be held accountable, since the AfCFTA treaty has not been domesticated in the country,”  he said.


Prof. Aremu also advocated the need for the upgrade of the overall quality of the nation’s physical infrastructure like roads, rail, port facilities, telecommunications, which are prerequisite to profitable intra-African trade.


He called for the use of online information portal, single windows, digital documentation, Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), electronic certificates and signatures and automated processing of trade declaration to help simplify, streamline and expedite trade-related procedures at the borders.