It also estimates that the implementation of AfCFTA will lead to an increase in intra-African trade of about 60% by 2022. Eritrea has not signed because of tensions with Ethiopia, but after the 2018 Eritrea-Ethiopia summit, the AU Commissioner for Trade and Industry expects Eritrea to sign the agreement. [93] The mission behind AfCFTA is to transform the whole of Africa into a very large economic bloc, so that trade, people and investment can move from one part of the continent to another with little or no barriers. As a result, for every African country that has ratified the agreement, its locally produced goods and services can compete freely in African international markets, without corresponding trade restrictions from recipient countries, which stimulates each country`s gross domestic product (GDP). In a market economy, there are three main players: consumers, producers and exporters: the advantage of a larger market for consumers is to foster healthy trade competition. This means that consumers have access to more goods and relatively lower prices. Exporters are gaining traction in the sale of their products, as they have access to a larger market for their products. Producers also have access to an affordable and skilled workforce, as there will be labour mobility between African countries, which will lead to increased productivity. The 12th African Union extraordinary meeting on AfCFTA was convened to bring the new agreement into its operational phase, which was held in Niamey on 7 July 2019. [40] [41] In addition, the AfCFTA contains a number of trade provisions that could be used to deal with border smuggling, including provisions to strengthen customs cooperation and facilitate trade. Implementation of these provisions would help reduce the problem of smuggling between Nigeria and Benin.

The African Continental Free Trade Area only came into force when 22 of the signatory countries ratified the agreement, which took place in April 2019, when The Gambia was the 22nd country to ratify it. [67] In August 2020, there are 54 signatories, of which at least 30 have ratified and 28 have tabled their ratification instruments. [69] [70] [71] The three countries that have ratified their ratifications but have not yet tabled are Cameroon, Angola and Somalia,[71] although Morocco is also ratified. [73] [74] In responding to a trade problem with unilateral border closures, Nigeria is at odds with the AfCFTA provisions on which it committed just a few months ago. These include exchange rate adjustments and flooding in many parts of our farmland. 13 Onwuka, O.N. and Udegbunam, K.C., The Africa Continental Trade Area: Prospects and Challenges.