Free download. Use adobe Acrobat Reader free to view this PDF file On July 21, 2018, five other nations signed the agreement, including South Africa. At the time, the Nigerian government stressed that its non-participation was a delay and not a withdrawal, and promised to sign the agreement soon.  As previously pointed out by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Nigerian government intended to continue to consult with local companies in order to obtain private sector agreement.  The political momentum towards Africa-wide free trade has strengthened. In March 2018, more than 40 countries signed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. Once fully implemented, the AfCFTA is expected to cover the 55 African countries whose combined GDP was close to $2.2 trillion. This SDN takes stock of recent developments in trade in sub-Saharan Africa and assesses the potential benefits and costs of the AfCFTA as well as the challenges of its successful implementation. In addition to increasing trade flows for both existing and new products, the AfCFTA has the potential to generate considerable economic benefits for African countries. These benefits include increased revenues from improved efficiency and productivity through improved resource allocation, increased cross-border investment flows and technology transfer. To ensure these benefits, in addition to reducing import duties, African countries also need to reduce other barriers to trade by making their customs procedures more efficient, reducing their major infrastructure gaps and improving their business climate.
At the same time, policy measures should be taken to mitigate the differences in the impact of trade liberalization on certain groups, as resources are redistributed in the economy and activities move to sites with relatively lower costs. After the Kigali summit, more signatures were added to the AfCFTA. At the African Union summit in Nouakchott on 1 July 2018, five other nations, including South Africa, joined the agreement. Kenya and Ghana were the first nations to ratify the agreement and deposit their ratifications on 10 May 2018.  Of the signatories, 22 had to ratify the agreement in order for it to enter into force on 29 April 2019, when Sierra Leone and the Sahara Arab Democratic Republic ratified the agreement.  As a result, the agreement entered into force 30 days later, on May 30, 2019, in force; At that time, only Benin, Nigeria and Eritrea had not yet signed. Outstanding issues, such as trade concessions and rules of origin, are still under negotiation. [When? ] In March 2018, at the 10th Extraordinary Meeting of the African Union on the AfCFTA, three separate agreements were signed: the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, the Kigali Declaration; and the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons. The Protocol on Free Movement aims to create a visa-free zone within the AfCFTA countries and to support the creation of the African Union passport.  At the Kigali Summit on March 21, 2018, 44 countries signed the AfCFTA, 47 the Kigali Declaration, and 30 the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons. .