Despite the ratification of African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, the readiness of countries for the free trade opportunity is being impacted by the economic effect of COVID-19 pandemic, among others.
As contained in Article 23 of the agreement establishing the AfCFTA, African countries will be bound by the rules and procedures on the settlement of disputes on the day the instruments are deposited.
The agreement states that countries that have ratified the agreement would have to comply with protocols on Investment, intellectual property rights, competition policy, and any other instrument within the scope of this agreement.
The COVID-19 pandemic has however put pressure on the economy of Africa countries.
The Secretary General, AfCFTA, Mene Wamkele, estimated that with the combined African GDP of $2.5tn, the volume of intra-African trade could increase to over 50 per cent by 2030.
But are African countries ready for this opportunity, a replica of the European Union?
The Executive Director, Africa Industrialisation Group, Carl Oshodi, spoke to WADR on the benefits and challenges ahead.