According to Article 23 of the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), entry into force occurs 30 days after the 22nd instrument of ratification is deposited with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) – the designated depositary for this purpose. The Agreement entered into force on 30 May 2019 for the 24 countries that had deposited their instruments of ratification by this date.
The operational phase of the AfCFTA was launched during the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union on the AfCFTA in Niamey, Niger on 7 July 2019.
As at 5 February 2021, 36 countries have deposited their instruments of ratification:
Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Niger, Chad, Eswatini, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Namibia, South Africa, Congo, Rep., Djibouti, Mauritania, Uganda, Senegal, Togo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Rep., Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, São Tomé & Príncipe, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Mauritius, Central African Rep., Angola, Lesotho, Tunisia, Cameroon, Nigeria, Malawi and Zambia
It has been indicated that parliamentary/Cabinet approval has been obtained by Somalia and Algeria; confirmation is pending.
Start of trading under the AfCFTA Agreement began on 1 January 2021, in line with a Decision and Declaration adopted during the 13th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union on 5 December 2021.
Last updated: 15 March 2020