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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance


African Continental Free Trade Agreement Enters Into Force

30 May 2019

A Key Milestone Towards the Establishment of a Single African Market

The agreement (the "CFTA Agreement") establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (the "CFTA") enters into force on 30 May 2019. The CFTA Agreement was signed by 44 member states of the African Union at a summit in Kigali, Rwanda on 21 March 2018. 30 May 2019 signifies 30 days after the deposit of the twenty-second instrument of ratification with the African Union Commission Chairperson. The CFTA Agreement required ratification by twenty two member states to take effect.

If fully implemented, the CFTA will create a single African market for goods and services, covering an estimated 1.2 billion people with a combined GDP of over USD $2.5 trillion across 55 member states. The CFTA will be then largest free trade zone by numbers of countries since the World Trade Organization was formed.

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