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EU supports the African Continental Free Trade Area with €50 M

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Thursday, 20 December 2018

EU supports the African Continental Free Trade Area with €50 M

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is one of the key priorities of Africa´s Agenda 2063 and a flagship project for the continent. Signed by 49 African countries and ratified by 13 countries so far, it needs 22 more ratifications to enter into force. In September 2018, Commission President Juncker had announced in his State of the Union address that the EU would allocate €50 million of support for the period 2018-2020. A first step was taken today with a €3 million programme signed with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to develop national implementation strategies for the continental free trade area. The establishment of an African trade observatory is also planned, and will be a key pillar of the African Continental Free Trade Area. The remaining budget (€47 million) will be used to provide a solid evidence base, policy analysis and strategic dialogue platforms; advice to lower technical barriers and harmonisation of African policies and the classification of goods, standards and regulations. The bulk of this funding is planned to be committed in the next two years. The AfCFTA aims at providing a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of people and investments. Its goal is to accelerate Intra-Africa trade through better harmonisation and coordination of trade liberalisation. Through these measures, the establishment of the AfCFTA is expected to gather impetus to boost economic growth and attract investments from both within Africa and the world. The EU, with its extensive experience with creating an internal market, has been supporting the free trade area since its inception in 2015 and remains committed to support its ratification and implementation process.

Source: ec.europa.eu