The calls for a Continental Trade Agreement have been on the table and in the African Union’s books for years and decades. Successive AU Heads have come and gone and have attempted in progressing with this idea.
It became very eminent that the time for this Continental Single Trade Deal was now or never. This common understanding, willingness, zeal and enthusiasm degenerated within the Heads of State of the various Member States into putting words into action to lift this long-standing idea from the books to reality.
The deal was brokered by the African Union on March 21st 2018 in Kigali and was signed by 44 countries out of the 55 Member States. This Trade deal requires ratified Member States to remove Trade Tariffs up to about 90% of goods allowing Free Access to Commodities, Goods and Services across the Continent.
This agreement entered into force on the 30th of March 2019 with 24 Countries depositing their instruments of Ratification as stipulated in article 23 of the Agreement making the 22-Country threshold in conformity with the legal provisions. This was achieved on the 29th of April 2019. To date, we have a total of 29 Countries signing and ratifying the Agreement and still counting.
The Operational Phase of the Agreement was launched during the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union held in Niamey, Niger on the 7th of July 2019.
The AfCFTA will be governed by five operational instruments thus;
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- The Rules of Origin
- The Online Negotiating Forum
- The Monitoring and Elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers
- A Digital Payments System
- The African Trade Observatory
At this same 12th Extraordinary Session of the African Union in Niamey, Niger; Heads of Member States unanimously agreed that the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement should be situated in Accra, Ghana. This decision was very significant and historic considering the role Ghana have played since the inception of the Organization of African Union (AOU) until this very day. The President of Ghana H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his government and other well-wishers were very instrumental in lobbying for this.
The virtue of ACCRA HOSTING the AfCFTA Secretariat informed the organizers of the annual Ghana International Trade & Finance Conference (GITFIC) with partnership with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the Association of Ghana Industry to declare ACCRA as the COMMERCIAL CAPITAL OF AFRICA and this was done at the 4th Conference on Trade & Finance (GITFIC 2020).
The meaning of this New Address and Name tag of ACCRA is because; the rest of Africa will be doing Business in ACCRA. The rest of the World who may want to do Business with Africa will do so through the Secretariat which is proudly headquarters in ACCRA.
In furtherance to this, GITFIC have teamed up with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly under the auspices of the Mayor Hon. Mohammed Adjei Sowah to capitalize on this to attract Investments into Accra.
This website is an informative piece to spell out the Investment Opportunities which abounds in ACCRA and why an Investor (African and Global) seeking to Invest in Africa should look first in ACCRA before anywhere else.
ACCRA IS INDEED THE COMMERCIAL CAPITAL OF AFRICA!