Djibouti Ambassador for Ethiopia and Rwanda

His Excellency

Mohamed Idriss Farah

Permanent Representative

to AU and CEA

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Djibouti - African Union : Promulgation of the Treaty on the Creation of a Continental Free Trade Area


After being ratified on June 26, 2018, in the Council of Ministers and subsequently adopted by the National Assembly, the President of the Republic has just promulgated, Monday, February 4, 2019, the law ratifying the AU Treaty on the creation of a Free Trade Area Continental. Indeed, the Republic of Djibouti is one of the 44 African countries that signed, last March, in Kigali, this Treaty whose main objective is to achieve economic and trade integration of the continent that is able to ensure the expected development.

The president of the African Union Commission, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, rightly called this March 28, 2018, as a historic day and Kigali, marking a new stage in the long march towards real integration became de facto, after Addis Ababa in 1963, Abuja in 1991 and Durban in 2002, an important milestone in African history.

As one of the 12 major programs of the AU Agenda 2063 framework, the CFTA is expected to facilitate intra-African trade and greatly benefit the continent. Above all, trade in services whose contribution to GDP is estimated at more than 50%. Moreover, the World Bank proves, thanks to the enormous data in its possession, that these services will open to Africa new ways of social and economic development that promise to bring jobs and incomes that are sorely lacking in the continent.

Will the reluctance of some countries to defeat this fabulous African project? Not at all ! The only thing that counts now is the willingness of States to agree on the main substantive issues that were obstacles to the creation of this African common market. The signing of 44 states in Kigali is a pledge of enormous will that allows us to believe that Africa has taken a big step and that hope for the realization of the free trade project is now allowed.

With the establishment of this Free Trade Area Continental by 2022, trade between African countries will increase by 60%, against 16% currently, equivalent to 35 billion dollars of additional gain.

Beyond the reluctant countries and the protectionist behavior of some, African leaders will have to face the most difficult obstacles that stand on the chaotic path that must lead them unhindered, towards the final creation of this Free Trade Area Continental. These are the customs duties that the CFTA project plans to lift on 90% of products. Finding a compromise quickly to facilitate the task and turn this old African dream into reality, however, remains a great challenge. But it is a challenge that is worth it.


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