Africa Cfta Agreement

In addition, many African countries have duty-free and quota-free access to the EU market under the EU`s “Everything but Weapons” programme. Like AGOA, EU EPAs offer duty-free access for African products. Unlike AGOA, EPAs offer incentives and investment protection for investments in Africa. Other EPAs are under development. For example, the EU and two regional organisations in Central Africa, the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa and the Economic Community of Central African States, are currently considering an EPA with the help of the “Stepping Stone” agreement with Cameroon. A more integrated African market by the CFTA should therefore benefit EU companies operating in Africa, as each of the aforementioned EPAs includes CFTA signatories. The United States only has a free trade agreement with an African country, Morocco. While African countries have signed more than 800 bilateral investment agreements (ILOs), the United States has signed only six ILOs with African countries (including Morocco and Egypt). Only one of them (Rwanda) has been negotiated in the last 20 years.

Launched in 2013, the U.S. government`s Africa Trade Program has produced less dramatic results than Power Africa, also launched in 2013. At the Kigali Summit, areas of agreement were reached on trade protocols, dispute settlement procedures, customs cooperation, trade facilitation and rules of origin. This was part of Phase I of the agreement, which deals with the liberalisation of goods and services. There was also a consensus on reducing tariffs to 90% of all goods. Each nation can exclude 3% of the goods from this agreement. [25] At this summit, Benin and Nigeria signed the agreement, so that Eritrea is the only African state not to be part of the agreement; Since then, Eritrea has applied to join the agreement. Gabon and Equatorial Guinea also tabled their ratifications at the summit. At the time of launch, there were 27 states that had ratified the agreement. [45] [47] [48] [49] Most AU Member States have signed the agreement.

Benin, Botswana, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria and Zambia did not sign the agreement. [63] Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was particularly reluctant to join if it against Nigerian entrepreneurship and Nigerian industry. [64] On 7 July 2019, Nigeria and Benin pledged to sign free trade with Africa at the 12th Special Session of the Association`s Assembly on ACFTA; Eritrea is the only country among the 55 member states of the African Union that has not signed the agreement. [65] [66] [41] The purest free trade agreement eliminates all border taxes or barriers to trade in goods. While the recently renewed African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) helps some African firms export duty-free to the United States, it is not designed to encourage U.S. investment in Africa and U.S. companies may remain at a disadvantage in Africa compared to European firms. The European Union has negotiated Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs): the Continental Free Trade Area only came into force when 22 of the signatory countries ratified the agreement, which took place in April 2019, when The Gambia was the 22nd country to ratify it. [67] In August 2020, there are 54 signatories, of which at least 30 have ratified and 28 have tabled their ratification instruments.

[69] [70] [71] The three countries that have ratified their ratifications but have not yet tabled are Cameroon, Angola and Somalia,[71] although Morocco is also ratified. [73] [74] The free trade agreement aims to reduce tariffs between Member States.

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