African Continental Free Trade Agreement Document
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is a landmark agreement signed by 54 out of 55 African Union (AU) Member States in Kigali, Rwanda on March 21, 2018. This agreement seeks to create a single market for goods and services across the African continent, with the aim of increasing intra-African trade and boosting economic growth.
The AfCFTA agreement is a legally binding document that sets out the terms and conditions for the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area. It covers various issues that are central to free trade, including the elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers, the protection of intellectual property rights, and the establishment of a dispute settlement mechanism.
One of the key objectives of the AfCFTA agreement is to increase the level of intra-African trade, which currently accounts for only 16% of the continent`s total trade. This is far lower compared to other regions such as Europe and Asia, where intra-regional trade accounts for over 60% of total trade. By creating a single market, the AfCFTA aims to increase intra-African trade and encourage investment in the continent, leading to job creation and economic growth.
Another important aspect of the AfCFTA agreement is the protection of intellectual property rights. This is crucial for the development of innovation and technology in Africa, which is currently lagging behind other regions. The agreement sets out the conditions for the protection of intellectual property rights, which will spur innovation and attract investment in the continent.
The AfCFTA agreement also establishes a dispute settlement mechanism, which is crucial for ensuring that the agreement is respected and adhered to by all member states. The mechanism is designed to resolve any disputes that may arise between member states in a peaceful and efficient manner, which is essential for maintaining the stability and credibility of the agreement.
In conclusion, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement is a significant step towards the economic integration of the African continent. By creating a single market, increasing intra-African trade, protecting intellectual property rights, and establishing a dispute settlement mechanism, the AfCFTA agreement will spur economic growth and development in Africa. With the majority of African Union member states having signed the agreement, the future looks bright for the AfCFTA and the continent as a whole.