The Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)  is a free trade area with 28 countries from 2018.     It was created by the African Free Trade Agreement between 54 of the 55 african union nations.  The free trade area is the largest in the world, in terms of the number of participating countries since the creation of the World Trade Organization.  Accra, Ghana, is the secretariat of AFCFTA and was commissioned by Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo on 18 August 2020 in Accra and handed over to the AU. The graph below shows the structure of the agreement for the creation of the AfCFTA. LUSAKA, October 27 (Xinhua) — Zambia`s cabinet has approved ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), a spokesman said Tuesday. The reasons for this neglect of these neighbouring markets are quite clear and go beyond the usual considerations of low per capita income. On the one hand, Ethiopia has a fairly protectionist customs policy, with high levels of tariffs in some sectors. However, members of the East African Community (EAC) such as Kenya (not Ethiopia) currently apply a high external tariff on imports of Ethiopian products, although both countries are members of the Common Market for East and South Africa (COMESA) regional grouping. This is because Ethiopia has not yet joined the comesa and, therefore, relatively high tariffs are still applied to bilateral trade. A similar problem concerns trade between Rwanda and Uganda with the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – all members of COMESA, but the Democratic Republic of Congo has not yet joined the free trade agreement. Forty-four countries initially signed the agreement on March 21, 2018.
Nigeria was one of 11 African Union countries to avoid signing the treaty. At the time, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigeria could do nothing to undermine local producers and entrepreneurs.  The Nigerian Manufacturers` Association, which represents 3,000 Nigerian manufacturers, welcomed the decision to withdraw from the agreement.  Nigeria`s foreign minister tweeted that more internal consultations are needed before Nigeria can sign the agreement.  Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said Nigeria`s delay was regrettable.  The Nigerian Labour Congress called the agreement a “renewed, extremely dangerous and radioactive neoliberal political initiative”, suggesting that increased economic pressure would push workers to rush into difficult and precarious conditions.  The afCFTA implementation phase is expected to begin in less than three months.