African Continental Free Trade Area on Track

The Presidency

The plan is to conclude the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) negotiations by 2020.

President Ramaphosa revealed this during an address at the 25th anniversary celebrations of the African Export-Import Bank in Nigeria.

The president added that signatories had also agreed to ensure by 2020 that the “liberalisation of trade in goods is complimented by rules on investment, competition policy and intellectual property rights.”

Most African countries signed up to the CFTA during the Extraordinary African Union Summit in Kigali in March 2018.

Recently, South Africa signed the agreement at the 31st Session of the African Union Assembly in Mauritania.

According to the president, “agreement on the Continental Free Trade Agreement represents a new dawn for Africa.”

“This new dawn signals the unity of purpose among Africans and a quest to work together to achieve a common goal of a prosperous and independent continent,” he said.

The agreement also represented an important milestone on the path to creating an integrated and diversified market of approximately $3.3 trillion with a population of over 1 billion people.

It will help to enhance Africa’s productive capacity, address supply-side constraints and alleviate the infrastructure deficit.

The president also emphasized that the collective priority was to first conclude Phase I and II of the CFTA negotiations before undertaking new preferential trading negotiations with trading partners outside of Africa.

Sabinet Cape Town Office