African countries secure $4.8million grant from AfDB for continental free trade implementation

The African Union (AU) has secured a $4.8 million institutional support grant from the African Development Bank Group for implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Albert Muchanga

The grant was approved by the Group’s Board of Directors on 1 April 2019.

The grant forms part of a series of interventions by the Bank in its lead role to accelerate the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement, seen as a major force for integrating the 55-nation continent and transforming its economy.

AU’s Commissioner for Trade and Industry, initialled for the continental body, Albert Muchanga and Andoh O. Mensah, representing the Bank’s Director of the Industrial and Trade Development Department (PITD), signed on behalf of the Bank, signalling the start of implementation.

Muchanga after signing the grant commended the Bank’s strong and consistent support to ensure smooth implementation of the Agreement.

He noted that the grant will be used judiciously for the rollout of various protocols relating to the structure and mandate of the AfCFTA Secretariat.

He further urged countries to use this period to complete the parliamentary processes.

“The AfCFTA is going to work, and we are confident that by the 1st of July next year, all the 55 countries will be state parties – meaning they would have signed and ratified the agreement and intra-African trading will start.”

Background

African leaders meeting at Niamey, Niger, in early July launched the implementation phase of the free trade area agreement established in March 2018, after it became operational at the end of May this year. Currently, 54 states have signed the deal and are set to begin formal trading next July.

The AU currently has an interim Secretariat in Ghana which tasked to provide the organisational structure for the permanent administrative body, its work programme and related issues including its budget. 

The Continental Free Trade deal has the potential to create the largest free-trade area in the world, uniting 55 African countries with a combined gross domestic product of more than US$2.5trillion. It is a major force for continental integration and expansion of Intra African trade, currently estimated at around 16%.

The trade agreement is expected to expand intra-African trade by up to US$35billion per year; ease movement of goods, services and people across the continent’s borders; and cut imports by $10billion, while boosting agriculture and industrial exports by seven percent and five percent respectively.

Our newsletter gives you access to a curated selection of the most important stories daily.

Welcome to the Pulse Community! We will now be sending you a daily newsletter on news, entertainment and more. Also join us across all of our other channels - we love to be connected!

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

Recommended articles

Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote poised to overtake another Russian billionaire Vladimir Lisin on Bloomberg billionaires list

Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote poised to overtake another Russian billionaire Vladimir Lisin on Bloomberg billionaires list

Mzee Kibor's will made public, revealing how vast wealth and millions will be distributed

Mzee Kibor's will made public, revealing how vast wealth and millions will be distributed

Ini Edo posts new photos amid reports of welcoming a baby through surrogacy

Ini Edo posts new photos amid reports of welcoming a baby through surrogacy

Mathias Pogba brands Paul Pogba 'a so-called Muslim steeped in witchcraft' amid fetish claims about Kylian Mbappe

Mathias Pogba brands Paul Pogba 'a so-called Muslim steeped in witchcraft' amid fetish claims about Kylian Mbappe

Referee behind chaos at AFCON was rushed to hospital after match

Referee behind chaos at AFCON was rushed to hospital after match

Ne-Yo speaks out after wife Crystal announced end of their 8-year marriage

Ne-Yo speaks out after wife Crystal announced end of their 8-year marriage

Eddie Butita speaks on his fallout with Miss Mandi, offers her a job

Eddie Butita speaks on his fallout with Miss Mandi, offers her a job

Sadio Mane the odd one out as Bayern Munich stars take team photo with glasses of beer

Sadio Mane the odd one out as Bayern Munich stars take team photo with glasses of beer

Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote, adds extra $915 million to his vast wealth in Q1 2022

Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote, adds extra $915 million to his vast wealth in Q1 2022