The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is expected to commence from January 1, 2021.
This was confirmed to Channels Television by the Acting Chief Trade Negotiator/Director-General, Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations, Mr. Victor Liman on Thursday.
The AfCFTA was scheduled to kick-off on July 1, 2020, but was postponed due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
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The agreement entered its operational phase on July 7, 2019, following the ratification by 54 of all 55 African countries.
According to Liman, the Extraordinary Africa Union Summits scheduled to be held in South Africa on May 30, 2020, has been postponed to December 5, 2020.
The summit is aimed at encouraging trade negotiators to complete their bargaining on tariff reductions, rules of origin, and other necessary regulations.
He added that the new date will also give sufficient time for trade ministers and their experts to finalise negotiations and prepare adequately for the Summits.
The AfCFTA agreement, which is aimed at removing trade barriers and also boost intra-Africa trade, was organised by the AU and signed on by 44 of its 55 member states in Kigali, Rwanda on March 21, 2018.