AU pushes Malawi for ratification of protocols – Capital Radio Malawi
19 April, 2024

AU pushes Malawi for ratification of protocols

Pierre: Necessary steps are being taken

The African Union AU is expressing worry over lack of ratification of some protocols which are said to be affecting the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA).

The ACFTA, which came into effect in 2019, aims at eliminating tariffs and non-tariffs barriers to trade in goods to enhance investments within member states among others.

This is happening as the continental body will be celebrating 21 years after its establishment in July 2002 and 60-year anniversary of the Organisation of African Union (OAU).

However, AU head of mission for the Southern African region David Claude Pierre observes that most member states are yet to ratify the free movement of people which is one of the biggest barriers to the achievement of the ACFTA.

He further indicates that if the protocol continues to be sidelined, the Idea of using the African Continental Free Trade Areal to eradicate poverty through creation of jobs and wealth will remain a white Elephant.

“This is a protocol that has been put forth and we are waiting for countries to sign and ratify so that it comes into play for the ACFTA to be fully operational,” said Pierre.

He added that; “we are engaging member states through various activities including sensitisation meetings on the significant of various protocols and other equally important issues affecting the continent.”

Malawi and other state parties committed to the ACFTA in 2018 before it came into effect in 2019 following numerous engagements between the African Union and member state through regional blocks.

The agreement which covers 55 member states with a population of 1.2 billion people has seen only 34 countries signing and ratifying the trade agreement and its protocols thereby meeting legal conditions require to the free trade area.

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