South Africa Nigeria Trade Agreement

Given that the Nigerian government continued to consult with local business groups in the second half of 2018, one of the main concerns was whether the agreement adequately prevented anti-competitive practices such as dumping. [59] At the close of 2018, former President Olusegun Obasanjo said the delay was „regrettable“ and stressed the lack of trade in goods between African countries, the difficulties in getting from one African country to another, and the colonial legacy of these restrictions on Africa`s growth. [60] The government steering committee responsible for the consultation process is expected to release its report on the agreement in January 2019. [61] The 12th African Union extraordinary meeting on AfCFTA was convened to bring the new agreement into its operational phase, which was held in Niamey on 7 July 2019. [40] [41] In March 2018, at the 10th African Union extraordinary meeting on AfCFTA, three separate agreements were signed: the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, the Kigali Declaration; and the protocol on the free movement of people. The Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons aims to create a visa-free zone within AfCFTA countries and to support the creation of the African Union passport. [27] At the Kigali Summit on 21 March 2018, 44 countries signed the AfCFTA, 47 signed the Kigali Declaration and 30 signed the protocol on the free movement of persons. Although a success, there were two remarkable holdouts: Nigeria and South Africa, the two largest economies in Africa. [28] [29] [30] Nigeria was one of the last nations to sign the agreement. With a population of 200 million, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and has about 98 million inhabitants in the most populous countries, Ethiopia and Egypt. With a nominal GDP of $376 billion, or about 17% of Africa`s GDP, it is just ahead of South Africa, which accounts for 16% of the African economy. Given that Nigeria is such an important country in terms of population and economy, its absence at the first signing of the agreement was particularly striking.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted this in his comments of 12 July 2018, commenting: „The continent awaits Nigeria and South Africa. Through trade between us, we are able to maintain more resources on the continent. South Africa signed the agreement later. [52] At this summit, Benin and Nigeria signed the agreement, so that Eritrea is the only African state not to be part of the agreement; Since then, Eritrea has applied to join the agreement. Gabon and Equatorial Guinea also tabled their ratifications at the summit. At the time of launch, there were 27 states that had ratified the agreement. [45] [47] In 1963, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was founded by the independent states of Africa. The aim of the OAU was to promote cooperation between African states. The 1980 Lagos Action Plan was adopted by the organization. The plan proposed that Africa minimize its dependence on the West by encouraging intra-African trade. It began with the creation of a number of regional cooperation organizations in different parts of Africa, such as the Conference on the Coordination of Southern African Development.