Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area, Mene Wamkele, has disclosed 54 out of 55 countries have signed onto the single market trade pact.
According to him, 34 countries have also deported their instruments of ratification with Nigeria being the latest to do so as of December 5, 2020.
“Indeed, Ghana was one of the very first countries to sign and ratify the AfCFTA agreement and the Secretariat being hosted in Ghana is not only a symbol of confidence but signals Ghana as the commercial and trade center of Africa.”
The AfCFTA Secretary-General made this known at a Business Forum organised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ghana Revenue Authority on Tuesday, January 5 to kickstart trading and implementation agreements of the AfCFTA in Ghana.
Ghana’s Trade Minister, Alan John Kojo Kyeremanten, on his part, assured that all modalities have been set in place for a smooth but cautious implementation of the free trade pact.
Meanwhile, in a video documentary shown at the forum, beverage company Kasaperko Limited and cosmetics firm, Ghandour Limited are said to be the first companies from Ghana to kickstart trading on the AfCFTA.
Their products have been documented and processed by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority and are awaiting distribution.
Trading on the AfCFTA was originally tipped to start on July 1, 2020 but suffered a setback as a result of the novel Coronavirus pandemic leading to the suspension of negotiations.
The Intra-African trade pact would witness 90 percent of all goods traded enjoy a tariff-free regime from January 1, 2020 for all countries that have signed agreements and deposited their instruments of AfCFTA ratification.
With some 54 out of 55 African countries participating in the single trade market pact, the AfCFTA would have the largest number of member countries in any trade deal since the formation of the World Trade Organization.