The effort to create an intra- African trade dated back to the 1960’s when the OAU (Organization of the African Union) was existent. Before the creation of the AfCFTA, strengthening trade relation and cooperation among African countries was given much emphasis during the time. There were regional economic communities that were created first to form a continental economic community and associating the economic space of a particular region to connect potential benefits of such integration. (1)
The African Union believed in the importance of creating economic integration and cooperation among the African countries and boost trade at the continental level. (2) This aspiration built up the creation of the AfCFTA. A decision to establish the African Continental Free Trade Area was made due to the desire to create sustainable economic development and create employment opportunities. The 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, January 2012, was the session in which this decision was passed (3). It was planned for the agreement to be established by 2017. This agreement had in mind to create a free trade area which covers a GDP of more than $3.4 trillion with the aim of making it the largest free- trade area in the world (4). The operational phase of the AfCFTA was subsequently launched during the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Niamey, Niger on 7 July 2019.(5)
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