Guillermo Arenas is an economist in the World Bank`s Trade and Regional Integration Unit (ETIRI). His area of expertise covers various aspects of international economics and law and order, including trade policy, export competitiveness and impact assessment. Nigeria was one of the last countries to sign the agreement. With 200 million people, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and has about the population of the second and third most populous countries, Ethiopia and Egypt, each with about 98 million people. With a nominal GDP of $376 billion, or about 17% of Africa`s GDP, it is just ahead of South Africa, which accounts for 16% of the African economy. Given that Nigeria is such an important country in terms of population and economy, its absence when the agreement was first signed was particularly striking. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa stressed this in a commentary on July 12, 2018, commenting: “The continent is waiting for Nigeria and South Africa. By negotiating with each other, we are able to conserve more resources on the continent. South Africa then signed the agreement.  After the Kigali summit, more signatures were added to the AfCFTA. At the African Union summit in Nouakchott on 1 July 2018, five other countries joined the agreement, including South Africa.
Kenya and Ghana were the first countries to ratify the agreement and deposit their ratifications on 10 May 2018.  Of the signatories, 22 had to ratify the agreement for it to enter into force, and this happened on April 29, 2019, when Sierra Leone and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic ratified the agreement.  As a result, the agreement entered into force 30 days later, on September 30. May 2019, in force; at the time, only Benin, Nigeria and Eritrea had not yet signed. Outstanding issues such as trade concession agreements and rules of origin are still under negotiation. [When?] Paul Brenton is a Senior Economist in the Trade and Regional Integration Unit (ETIRI) of the World Bank. It focuses on analytical and operational work on trade and regional integration. The scope of the AfCFTA is vast. The agreement will reduce tariffs between member countries and cover policy areas such as trade facilitation and services, as well as regulatory measures such as hygiene standards and technical barriers to trade. Full implementation of the AfCFTA would reshape the region`s markets and economies and boost production in services, manufacturing and natural resources.
The World Bank`s report, The African Continental Free Trade Area: Economic and Distributional Effects, is designed to help policymakers implement measures that can maximize the potential gains of the agreement while minimizing risks. Creating a continent-wide market requires determined efforts to reduce all trading costs. Governments also need to develop strategies to increase the willingness of their workforce to seize new opportunities. On 21 July 2018, five other countries 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 the Minister of Foreign Affairs had previously pointed out, the Nigerian government intended to continue to consult with local companies to ensure that the private sector approved the agreement.  The African Continental Free Trade Area only entered into force when 22 of the signatory states ratified the agreement, which happened in April 2019, when The Gambia became the 22nd country to ratify it.   As of August 2020, there were 54 signatories, of which at least 30 had ratified and 28 had deposited their instruments of ratification.    The three countries that have ratified their ratification but have not yet deposited it would be Cameroon, Angola and Somalia, although Morocco is also documented for ratifying it.   Israel Osorio Rodarte is an economist in the World Bank`s Trade and Regional Integration Unit. He has over 10 years of experience in international development, particularly in the areas of economic diversification, structural change and distribution analysis of trade and macroeconomic policies. Yulia Vnukova advises in the Trade and Regional Integration Unit (ETIRI) of the World Bank.
Based on more than a decade of experience, Yulia`s current work focuses on trade policy and regional integration, with a focus on macroeconomic and microeconomic analysis of trade, trade and sectoral competitiveness, global value chains and private sector development in emerging markets in Europe, Asia and Africa. Several committees have been established on trade in goods, trade in services, rules of origin, trade remedies, non-tariff barriers, technical barriers to trade and sanitary and phytosanitary measures.  Dispute resolution rules and procedures are still under negotiation, but they will likely include the designation of a dispute resolution body.  The Committee of Senior Trade Officials implements the Council`s decisions. The Committee is responsible for drawing up programmes and action plans for the implementation of the AfCFTA Agreement.  44 countries initially signed the agreement on March 21, 2018. . .