Perhaps most importantly, Nigeria signed the AfCFTA at the meeting. Securing the participation of Africa`s largest and most populous economy has been a considerable success. Nigeria`s signature followed extensive internal consultation, both with trade unions and private companies. The country accounts for 17% of Africa`s GDP, just ahead of South Africa, and with a single market of nearly 200 people – as many as Ethiopia and Egypt combined – its commitment will significantly strengthen the strength and size of the AfCFTA. Although trade flows between African states remain below their potential, an ambitious project is underway to accelerate economic integration and significantly expand intra-continental trade. Under the leadership of the African Union (AU), the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement was signed in March 2018, aiming to significantly reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers. The agreement aims to make the regional bloc the largest free trade area in the world relative to the number of participating countries since the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1995. According to a 2018 report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNCA), it is expected to have a transformative influence on participating markets, with the agreement expected to increase intra-African trade by 52% by 2022. . .
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