Statement of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission on the Occasion of the Ceremony to mark the First Joint Deposit of Instruments of Ratification of the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) by the Republic of Ghana and the Republic of Kenya
Addis Ababa, 10 May 2018
Yours Excellencies Ambassadors,
Your Excellency Madame Vera Songwe, ECA Executive Secretary,
Your Excellencies Commissioners,
Today is indeed a historic day in the annals of the African Union. We warmly welcome you and would like to thank you as the two first countries who deposited the instrument of ratification of the Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), following the ratification of the Agreement by your Parliament.
I congratulate both countries (Kenya and Ghana) for being the first AU Member States to deposit their instruments of ratification with the African Union Commission.
The speed with which your countries ratified the AfCFTA Agreement is a testament to the commitment that you have always shown, not only to Africa in general but also to the African Union.
Your leadership role also presages the role played by your respective RECs in the African Union and therefore the AfCFTA. So this moment should not be underestimated.
Your countries have led the way in signalling to the rest of the AU Member States that the process of our integration is irreversible and will benefit all citizens of Africa.
We encourage other Member States to follow your action. We note with greatest appreciation the fact that other Member States have ratified the AfCFTA Agreement.
We congratulate the governments and people of both countries and we appreciate your commitment to the landmark achievement of the legal foundation of the African integration agenda. We expect to receive more instruments of ratification anytime from now.
I look forward to you encouraging other signatories to the AfCFTA Agreement to ensure that a minimum of twenty-one (21) additional instruments of ratification are deposited with the Commission before the end of 2018. That is the expectation of our Heads of State and Government.
Once again, on behalf of the African Union Commission, many congratulations to the People and Government of Ghana and Kenya. We wish your people the very best in obtaining the most from the implementation of the AfCFTA once the Agreement comes into force.
I thank you.