While America and China seem to get closer to a trade war, and Britain could be denied access to the EU custom’s union, African nations are getting closer when it comes to trading. As many as 44 countries have signed up for The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) during African Union’s summit in Rwanda, CNN Money reports.
Still, 10 countries have stayed out of the pact at this point. Africa’s biggest economy, Nigeria, hasn’t joined. “We will not agree to anything that will undermine local manufacturers and entrepreneurs, or that may lead to Nigeria becoming a dumping ground for finished goods,” stated Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerian president.
Also, South Africa, the second largest economy on the continent, didn’t sign the trade agreement, but its president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has committed his country to it once legislative issues are handled.
During the summit, 27 African countries have agreed to go further and commit to eventual free movement of people. So far, only the European Union has succeeded in that aspect.
The AfCFTA aims to reduce tariffs and other trade barriers in order to stimulate exchange of goods and services among continent’s nations. The African countries have tried to establish a viable free trade agreement for several decades already. The AfCFTA is definitely a step closer. Once this happens, continental economic growth should pick up. This would be one of the biggest trade agreements with combined population of 1.2 billion.