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AU may secure needed 5 ratifications for AfCFTA to come into force today

There are high hopes that before the closure of ongoing African Union (AU) summit which ends today February 11, 2019, five more member-states will deposit ratifications of the African Continental Free trade Area (AfCFTA) with the African Union (AU).
Besides, according to the AU Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Albert Muchanga, who addressed press conference at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, about six more AU member-states have given indications of sealing the deal before end of session today.
He revealed that the expected seal by the six countries will raise the number of ratifications to 17, and only five more ratifications are needed for the AfCFTA to come into force.
11 countries, including, Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, Niger, Chad, Eswatini (Swaziland), Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Uganda, Mali, and Namibia have already deposited their instruments of ratifications, while six more namely, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Congo, Togo, Mauritania, and Senegal are expected to deposit it at the summit.
Business Hilights recalls that the agreement establishing the AfCFTA was opened for signature in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, on March 21, 2018, and 49 of the 55 AU member states have signed it so far.
Whereas the AU Commissioner noted that “We expect two more signatures during this summit which will leave only four countries yet to sign,” checks at the presidency show that the Federal Government is still entangled in the web of discordant voices trialing the entire deal especially the challenges so far observed by the organized private sector (OPS).
OPS had at several occasions warned the federal government to tread with caution to avoid exposing ailing and budding industries and SMEs to hostile competition when our borders are thrown open to continental goods.