AfCFTA is officially in force — now the real work begins
Implementation of the agreement’s protocols will be incremental, with the private sector (the real traders) needing access to the correct information
The founding agreement of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) enters into force today. The required number of ratifications has already been deposited and the agreement can now become a binding international legal instrument.
This constitutes an important political achievement but will not usher in immediate free trade; several legal instruments must still be finalised. National legal regimes must also be updated to reflect interstate agreements. International trade agreements are not self-executing; they are implemented through domestic measures such as new customs procedures and domestic regulations for foreign service providers and investors.