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AfCFTA implementation postponed due to COVID-19

AfCFTA implementation postponed due to COVID-19
April 30
05:59 2020

The implementation of the African continental free trade agreement (AfCFTA) has been postponed due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wamkele Mene (pictured), the AfCFTA secretary-general, told Reuters that it would be impossible to commence trading on July 1 as earlier scheduled.

“It is obviously not possible to commence trade as we had intended on 1 July under the current circumstances,” he quoted him to have said.

Speaking during a webinar on the ‘Political Economy of COVID-19: Implications for AfCFTA’, Mene said the launch may be shifted till January 1, 2021.


The webinar, which held on Tuesday, was organised by the Africa International Trade and Commerce Research and Nigeria Private Sector Alliance

The free-trade zone would be the largest in the world since the creation of the World Trade Organisation in 1995.

AfCFTA is a trade agreement between 54 AU member states, with the goal of creating a single, unified market for goods and services followed/facilitated by free movement and a single-currency union.


Although implementation has been postponed, the secretary-general said the political commitment to the deal is intact.

“The political commitment remains, the political will remains to integrate Africa’s market and to implement the agreement as was intended,” he said.

Mene also opined that intra-African trade would help countries in the region recover from shock caused by the pandemic.


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