Pan African Parliament to Encourage Free Trade on the Continent
The Pan African Parliament (PAP) has resolved to encourage countries on the continent to allow free trade to happen among themselves.
During its sixth ordinary session held in Midrand PAP adopted a report on the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA), which is the result of an agreement among all 55 members of the African Union (AU).
If ratified, the agreement would result in the largest free-trade area in terms of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organisation.
African heads of state and government gathered in Kigali, Rwanda in March to sign the agreement. Forty-four of the 55 AU members signed it on March 21.
The agreement initially requires members to remove tariffs from 90 percent of goods, allowing free access to commodities, goods, and services across the continent.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa estimates that the agreement will boost intra-African trade by 52 percent by 2022. The proposal will come into force after ratification by 22 of the signatory states.
PAP legislators are now required by the continental legislature to ensure that their respective national governments ratify the AFCFTA. The MPs agreed to ensure timely ratification of AFCFTA legal instruments once the executive branches had availed them to national parliaments. (via African News Agency)