Africa Day 2019 celebration reception held in a downtown hotel Seoul on June 12th evening allowed Diplomatic Corps. as well as many participants to show that Africa moves further one step in terms of its continent integration & the futurte prosperity, in particular througjh AfCFTA (The Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement) in terms of its continent economic bloc.
Paying attention to special fact that AfCFTA Agreement enters into force, Gabon envoy H.E. Carlos Victor Boungou who serves as the Dean of the African Ambassadors Group in Seoul, stressed through his welcome speech: “The Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) entered into force on 30 May 2019 for the 24 countries that had deposited their instruments of ratification.”
According to Article 23 of the Agreement, entry into force occurs 30 days after the 22nd instrument of ratification is deposited with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) – the designated depositary for this purpose.
In conjunction with AfCFTA ratification, Egypt Amb. Hazem M. Fahmy also spoke about its economic ripple effects for the entire African continent through a seminar to commemorate the Africa Week event, held at the FKI building seminar room in the afternoon, on June 13th.
“It is the largest FTA created since the establishment of the World Trade Organization 1995,” said Hazem Fahmy, ambassador of Egypt to Korea. “This kind of potential should not be overlooked by any country or companies looking for forward progress.”, according to the Embassy of Egypt in Seoul.
In market terms, Africa consists of 54 countries that are home to 1.27 billion people. The population is expected to grow to 1.7 billion by 2030, according to the top envoy of Egypt, the country chairing the African Union this year.
According the Embassy of Gabon, on 29 April 2019, the 22-country threshold was reached when Sierra Leone and the Saharawi Republic deposited their instruments of ratification with the depositary, paving the way for the AfCFTA’s entry into force.
Zimbabwe and Burkina Faso deposited their instruments of ratification on 24 and 29 May 2019, respectively, bringing the total number of countries to have deposited their ratification instruments to 24. More countries are expected to do so before the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union on the AfCFTA in Niamey, Niger on 7 July 2019.
The 24 countries that have deposited their instruments of AfCFTA ratification with the AUC Chairperson are Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Niger, Chad, Congo Republic, Djibouti, Guinea, eSwatini (former Swaziland), Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire), Senegal, Togo, Egypt, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Saharawi Republic, Zimbabwe, and Burkina Faso.