The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is set to expand to comprise 30 countries by 2024.


Senior Advisor Peter Joy Serwornoo to the Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) declared that 30 African nations are ready to start trading under this agreement next year, marking a significant step towards its implementation.

Through the AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative, seven countries have started trading in order to help African states begin trade under this agreement. Leading the charge on this endeavour are Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt, Cameroon, Rwanda, and Mauritius.

Leading the charge on this endeavour are Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt, Cameroon, Rwanda, and Mauritius.

Speaking at the Regional Forum on AfCFTA for Anglophone West and North Africa in Accra, Mr. Serwornoo emphasised the advancements made by these nations, mentioning actions taken to expedite the implementation process, such as Ghana exporting ceramic tiles to Cameroon and Kenya sending tea to Ghana.

Third World Network-Africa arranged the three-day programme, which brought together a wide range of participants, including officials from government agencies, policy institutes, trade unions, women’s associations, and members of civil society organisations. Its goal was to plan future interactions with civil society organisations around the AfCFTA, enhance communication, and share information.

While trading under the AfCFTA is now in its trial phase, Mr. Serwornoo emphasised that full-scale trading is set to begin next year, with an expected increase in the number of participating nations.

He said it was too soon to estimate the trade value between the seven countries, but they were trading in about 96 different products, such as air conditioners, tea, and ceramic tiles.

Despite advancements, issues still exist, most notably the small number of signatories to the Free Movement of Goods convention. Mr. Serwornoo underlined the protocol’s advantages, particularly the ability for businesspeople to temporarily provide services across borders, and he urged member nations to ratify it.

Mr. Serwornoo noted the complexity but reaffirmed the African nations’ commitment to the AfCFTA. He emphasised that only Eritrea remained to sign the pact, while 54 out of 55 African nations had already done so. Furthermore, the AfCFTA Agreement has been ratified by 47 African countries; certain nations, such as Benin, Liberia, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Mozambique, and Eritrea, have not yet done so.

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