President Cyril Ramaphosa says the coming into effect of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) is a milestone that fulfils a dream crafted by the founders of the Organisation of African Union (OAU) 60 years ago when they conceptualised an integrated Africa.
President Ramaphosa was speaking at the conclusion of his working visit to Niger where he attended the 12th Extraordinary Summit of the African Union.
The Summit marked the entry into force of the agreement and formally launched the operational phase of the African Internal Market.
President Ramaphosa anticipates the agreement will catapult the economies of many African countries onto a higher growth trajectory and says South Africa stands to significantly benefit from being part of the world’s largest single market encompassing 55 countries with a combined population of 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of $3.2 trillion.
The President sees the implementation of the agreement as a platform for African countries to trade among themselves and reap the benefits of the tariff-free area.
One of the key spin-offs is expected to be greater focus and urgency for infrastructure development across the continent to support economic activities.
Office of the Presidency, South Africa