In June, Egypt`s ambassador-designate to Nigeria, Assem Hanafi, expressed concern about the low level of trade between his country and Nigeria and stressed the need to improve the situation aggressively. Several committees have been established for trade in goods, trade in services, rules of origin, trade measures, non-tariff barriers, technical barriers to trade and sanitary and phytosanitary measures.  Dispute settlement rules and procedures are still under negotiation, but they likely involve the appointment of a dispute settlement body.  The Committee of Senior Trade Officials implements the Council`s decisions. The Committee is responsible for developing programmes and action plans for the implementation of the AfCFTA agreement.  “My goal is to find ways to boost trade and investment between Nigeria and Egypt, the two largest countries in Africa with enormous potential and population,” the diplomat said, noting that the volume of trade between Nigeria and Egypt “is not very large and it is another sad story of intra-African trade relations.” In Kigali, Rwanda, where the Framework Protocol was signed last March, African heads of state and government were optimistic. If – or when – the 55 African countries ratify the free trade area, it would together represent more than $4 trillion in consumer and business spending and a market of 1.2 billion people. At the 2019 World Economic Forum, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa were presented as leaders in the new global context. At the AfCFTA, both scored highlights. First, the benefits of cooperating with 1.2 billion people in 55 countries far outser than action as small, fragmented markets in the new world order. Second, the AfCFTA offers huge opportunities for the manufacturing sector and small, medium and large enterprises. This will boost intra-territorial trade, create jobs, improve skills development and ensure best practices through smart competition between countries. Nevertheless, 11 countries, including the economic giants of Nigeria and South Africa, have not signed the Kigali Framework Protocol, although both countries have indicated that they are likely to join the train after further consultations with national stakeholders.
Free trade agreements aim to reduce trade tariffs between Member States. In March 2018, at the 10th Extraordinary Meeting of the African Union on the AfCFTA, signed three separate agreements: the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, the Kigali Declaration; and the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons. The Protocol on Free Movement aims to create a visa-free zone within the AfCFTA countries and to support the creation of the African Union passport.  At the Kigali Summit on March 21, 2018, 44 countries signed the AfCFTA, 47 the Kigali Declaration and 30 the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons. Although it was a success, there were two notable holdouts: Nigeria and South Africa, The two largest economies in Africa.    The strongest safeguard measures consist of “trade policy remedies”, one of which is to allow countries to impose anti-dumping duties on imports below fair value in order to offset the impact of tariffs on unjustifiedly subsidised imports. The treaty also contains a number of provisions to facilitate trade, reduce transaction costs, offer exceptions, flexibilities and protective measures to groups and countries at risk in difficult circumstances, he said. With Nigeria`s signature, the AfCFTA`s dream of increasing intra-African trade, currently below the continent`s trade volume with Europe, is now a step forward. The purest free trade agreement (FTA) removes all border taxes or barriers to trade on goods.
Nigeria was one of the last nations to sign the agreement.. . .