African free trade area could be operational in July



Isaac Khisa | The Independent

Excitement was palpable throughout the region as the dream for a continental free trade area in Africa got the final ratification needed to become a reality this month.

Gambia became the 22nd African country to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA), meaning the bill now has the minimum number of ratifications needed to come into effect.

On March 21 Ethiopia became one of the last African nations to ratify the AfCFTA, bringing the tally of endorsing countries to 21.

The trade bloc spanning 49 countries with a combined GDP of $3trillion, will facilitate inter-regional trade, boost growth and help to alleviate poverty, its supporters say.

[Read more here.]