LUANDA, July 6 — Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Wamkele Mene said on Monday that Africa will soon have a new trading standard with the development of the organization.
Mene made the remarks after talks with Angolan President Joao Lourenco over issues related to challenges and development of the AfCFTA, the world’s largest free trade area in terms of the number of participating countries.
With trade commencing as of Jan. 1, 2021, the AfCFTA represents reality, the secretary-general said, adding that the new standard will facilitate regional trade and investment and boost continental economic integration.
Mene said he was very encouraged by the commitment of the Angolan president, who has pledged to give full support to the organization’s management.
According to Mene, a total of 39 countries have signed and ratified the free trade zone agreement, which means they are committed to removing trade barriers and promoting integration in Africa.
At the summit in Kigali, Rwanda in March 2018, 44 countries signed the agreement. A total of 54 countries have signed the agreement so far.