Regional integration AU confirms entry into force of AfCFTA on January 1, 2021
The entry into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will be effective from January 2021, confirmed the current President of the African Union (AU), the South African Cyril Ramaphosa, on October 22.
Initially scheduled for this year 2020, the launch of the AfCFTA had been postponed, due to the coronavirus pandemic which is currently circulating on the African continent, as well as in the rest of the world. In his closing speech of the second semi-annual AU coordination meeting on October 22, President Ramaphosa expressed his satisfaction with the progress made in achieving Agenda 2063, a model for Africa’s development that has gave birth to the idea of the AfCFTA, and called on the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) of the continent to prepare for its entry into force “from 1 January 2021”.
“Now that the finish line is in sight, we have to make a final effort and ensure that all important files concerning phases 1 and 2 are finalized so that we can start the exchanges from January 1, 2021”, indicated Ramaphosa. Adding that it is “imperative that we strengthen Regional Economic Communities as building blocks for African continental integration”. The RECs concerned and present at this meeting are the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC) and the Economic Community of West African States ( ECOWAS).
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