The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has disclosed that only eleven African countries have validated the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement implementation strategies.
Mrs. Vera Songwe, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary, UNECA, made this disclosure during her opening remark at the 39th session of the Committee of Experts.
Songwe listed the countries to include Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Niger, Cameroon, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. She also added that countries in the drafting phase are: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo, Kenya, Namibia, and Malawi.
The Executive Secretary further noted that countries that were in the inception phase were Nigeria, Tunisia, Guinea-Bissau, Benin, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, Tanzania, Botswana, Mozambique, and Eswatini.
In his remarks, Amb. Tesfaye Sabo, the Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the African Union and UNECA, said Africa had made a robust effort under the leadership of the African Union, to grapple with this pandemic and to reduce its socio-economic impact.
Sabo said this was done by working with global partners and through mobilisation of the African people.
UNECA is one of the UN’s five regional commissions whose mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development.