AU Assembly Of Heads Of States Direct Ministers To Conclude AfCFTA Negotiations By June

(200818) -- ACCRA, Aug. 18, 2020 (Xinhua) -- A man sits outside the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat office in Accra, capital of Ghana, August 17, 2020. Ghanaian President on Monday handed over the edifice housing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat to the African Union (AU) for the commencement of work. (Ghana Presidency/Handout via Xinhua)

The Assembly of Heads of States of the African Union has directed all Trade Ministers and other negotiators involved in forging a framework for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to conclude all outstanding negotiations by June, 2021.

This was made known by the Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, Wamkele Mene, at a media briefing.

According to him, members are aiming to meet the timeline and that in the matter of the protocols on the rules of origin component of the framework, for instance, the negotiations is about 90% completed.

“There has been a lot of work ongoing by the ministers on outstanding negotiations and especially on rules of origin which is about 86% to 90% concluded because this will deal with issues of transshipment and third party exports”.

“The ministers also recalled the directive by the heads of States to ensure that all negotiations are concluded by the end of June this year, so there will be more frequent meetings to ensure that this target is achieved,” he said.

The protocols on the rules of origin concern the issue of third-party exports into the free zone areas on the continent.

During the week, the African Council of Trade Ministers met in Accra for their 5th Session. Agenda tabled include matters concerning the trade deal as well as dialogue on the just ended inaugural meeting by the Dispute Resolution Body.

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