Since then, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Lesotho, Burundi and South Africa signed the AfCFTA at the 31st African Union Summit in Nouakchott.  As of July 2019, 54 states have signed the agreement.  Intra-African trade is currently only 16%, compared to 19% of intra-regional trade in Latin America, 51% in Asia, 54% in North America and 70% in Europe. The purest free trade agreement (FTA) removes all border taxes or barriers to trade on goods. Despite the delay in signing and local concerns, Ajagbe notes that «Nigerian goods and services are not entirely new across Africa and therefore AfCFTA will help reduce tariffs, increase mobility [and] remove a number of barriers that hinder the flow of trade and investment into and out of Nigeria.» Between 2012 and 2014, more than 75% of the continent`s exports were raw materials; Yet less than 40% of intra-African trade has been extractive during the same period, according to the African Union (AU), unders highlighting the need to boost intra-continent trade. They also get rid of quotas, so there is no limit for the amount of trade you can do. ABUJA, Nov 12 (Reuters) – Nigeria has ratified its accession to the African Free Trade Area, which is due to begin in January, the government said, after initially reluctant to join the Bloc, fearing it would suspend local industry from dumping from countries outside Africa. Nigeria will need to modernize and adapt its administrative, legal and trade infrastructure to implement the free trade area and fully adopt it, and Ajagbe is aware that «it is not as robust as it should be», while clarifying that the same goes for its neighbours: «It is a beautiful new world for much of Africa and many support services – including legally – are still at work.» The AU says the African Continental Free Trade Area – called the AfCFTA – will create the largest free trade area in the world. Forty-four African countries recently signed a framework protocol for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) that brings the continent closer to one of the world`s largest free trade areas.
«Nigeria`s ratification of the AfCFTA is a welcome development, but the country`s commitment to intra-African trade should also be translated into reality by reopening its land borders,» said Landry Signé, Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution. «The reopening of the borders will send a strong signal about Nigeria`s intentions. To stimulate intra-African trade. In March 2018, at the 10th Extraordinary Meeting of the African Union on the AfCFTA, three separate agreements were signed: the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, the Kigali Declaration; and the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons. The Protocol on Free Movement aims to create a visa-free zone within the AfCFTA countries and to support the creation of the African Union passport.  At the Kigali Summit on 21 March 2018, 44 countries signed the AfCFTA, 47 the Kigali Declaration and 30 the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons. Although it was a success, there were two notable holdouts: Nigeria and South Africa, The two largest economies in Africa.    At this summit, Benin and Nigeria signed the agreement, so Eritrea is the only African state not to be part of this agreement. In the meantime, Eritrea has applied to accede to the agreement.
Gabon and Equatorial Guinea also deposited their ratifications at the summit. At the time of launch, there were 27 states that had ratified the agreement.     Trudi Hartzenberg, executive director of the Trade Law Centre, a South Africa-based think tank, tells Africa Renewal that while the free trade area can significantly improve competitiveness and foster intra-African trade, it also requires «strong leadership and technical capacity to assist member states in the upcoming negotiations. We are also witnessing strong flows of protectionism in the global economy. She argues that a free trade agreement could help «diversify Africa`s exports, which, in turn, reduces the volatility of African economies and leads to more sustainable economic growth.» In other words, the agreement could reduce Africa`s dependence on raw materials such as oil and minerals, whose prices often vary on the international market. . . .