The House of People’s Representatives (HPR) earlier this week approved Ethiopia’s membership to the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The AfCFTA, one of the biggest trade agreements since the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO), aims to create a single market in Africa.The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) was endorsed by leaders of more than 40 countries in March last year. Since then more countries have joined the agreement, including Ethiopia.
The AfCFTA is meant to create a tariff-free continent that can grow local businesses, boost intra-African trade, revamp industrialization and create jobs. The agreement creates a single continental market for goods and services as well as a customs union with free movement of capital and business travellers.
Countries joining AfCFTA must commit to removing tariffs on at least 90% of the goods they produce.If all 55 African countries join a free trade area, it will be the world’s largest by number of countries, covering more than 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of $2.5 trillion.
Following the decision, the African Union has expressed appreciation over Ethiopia’s ratification of AfCFTA which brought the number of ratifications on the continent to 21.