Ghana and Kenya lead the way in signing Africa’s landmark free trade agreement

AU Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat receiving the instruments of ratification from Ghana and Kenya

Ghana and Kenya have made history as the first countries out of the 44 states to ratify the Continental Free Trade Area agreement which was signed in the Rwandan capital Kigali in March.

The two countries submitted their instruments of ratification to the African Union on Thursday ahead of the 180 days deadline for the landmark agreement to come into force.

“I hope this will galvanize other countries who have signed the CFTA to ratify it by 2019,” says the AU Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat who called on the other 42 countries who signed the agreement to ratify it.

11 countries including Nigeria and South Africa have not yet signed the agreement due to objections from business leaders and labour unions which they promised to settle before they sign on.

All 55 member states of the African Union are expected to sign the agreement which will bring together 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of more than $2 trillion.

The draft agreement which was formulated after two years of negotiations commits countries to remove tariffs on 90 percent of goods, with 10 percent of “sensitive items” to be phased in later.

This article by Ismail Akwei was first published on

Published by Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei is an international journalist, digital media and communications professional, editor, writer, arts, culture and tourism advocate, human rights activist, pan-Africanist, tech enthusiast and history buff. He has worked with multinational media companies across Africa and has over a decade’s experience in journalism.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: