As Kenya and Ghana take the lead, the African Union Chairperson Moussa Faki calls on member states to speed up the ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) protocol signed by 40 African countries last March.
He made the call this morning at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa while receiving the ratified documents of the first two African countries Kenya and Ghana.
“This is indeed a great day for Africa’s integration. Your leadership has lead the way…We encourage all member states to follow your footsteps and ratify…We expect to receive more instruments of ratification. Before the end of 2019 at least 20 countries are expected,” he said.
“Definitely Kwame Nkrumah and Jomo Kentyatta must be proud of you and proud of us,” he said. Like any other multilateral agreements, the AfCFTA protocol signed by member states has to be ratified by the parliaments of each country in order for it to be implemented.
When 20 more countries ratify the protocol like Kenya and Ghana, Africa as one of the biggest common market will allow its citizens and goods to move freely across the continent. Out of the total 55 member states of the African Union still 11 have not yet signed the protocol, which got the acceptance of 44 other member states during the extraordinary African Union meeting held in Kigali in March 2018.
African countries have enough products and services to trade to each other if they allow the creation the free market in the continent, according to Catherine Muigai Mwangi, Kenya’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and Djibouti who submitted her country’s AfCFTA ratified document to the AU chairperson this morning.
“I am not sure that if there are goods that are not produced in Africa. You may find that one country is not producing something. But it doesn’t mean that there is no country in Africa producing it. That is where we have failed ourselves. Because we are not making the effort to know what other countries are producing,” she said in an interview after the vent.
The economic, social and political integration of Africa, which allows people in the continent to use one passport and move freely within Africa is one of the pillars of African Union’s Agenda 2063 that envisages to transform the lives of Africans 100 years after the Organization of African Union – now called African Union is founded.