African Trade Agreement 2020
„We are now the largest free trade area in the world since the creation of the World Trade Organization and we must ensure that this matters,“ the president said. Several committees have been established for trade in goods, trade in services, rules of origin, trade measures, non-tariff barriers, technical barriers to trade and sanitary and phytosanitary measures.  Dispute settlement rules and procedures are still under negotiation, but they likely involve the appointment of a dispute settlement body.  The Committee of Senior Trade Officials implements the Council`s decisions. As a result of the Phase II negotiations, there is an possibility to create more committees on minutes.  WASHINGTON, 27. July 2020 – The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) represents a great opportunity for countries to boost growth, reduce poverty and increase economic inclusion, as revealed in a new World Bank report. If fully implemented, the trade pact could increase regional income by 7 percent, or $450 billion, accelerate women`s wage growth, and lift 30 million people out of extreme poverty by 2035. Beyond the effects of the pandemic, there is also the continent`s existing trade architecture to overcome. Today`s regional trade agreements „present narrow trading models, depend on primary products and include a low level of trade between countries,“ said William Amponsah, a trade expert quoted by the United Nations. In fact, intra-African trade is dominated by a handful of countries that sell a handful of products. While this situation is improving, there remains a problem that a mere increase in intra-African trade would not solve.
Agenda 2063 aims to bring Africa closer together in a variety of ways. However, at an AU summit in Niger, the focus will be on a free trade agreement, with little time for other topics. The report suggests that realizing these profits will be particularly significant, given the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, which is expected to result in production losses of up to $79 billion in Africa in 2020. The pandemic has already led to significant disruptions to trade across the continent, including for critical goods such as medical care and food. Electronic payments are also getting better and better. This contributes to the efficiency and thus competitiveness of trade in Africa. On the other hand, the outlook looks promising: if the free trade area is fully implemented, it will offer the opportunity to lift 30 million people out of extreme poverty, according to a new World Bank report. . . .