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It currently has three protocols: the Trade in Goods Protocol, the Trade in Services Protocol and the Dispute Resolution Protocol. These protocols contain provisions relating to tariff concessions, customs cooperation, mutual assistance, and the removal of technical barriers to trade, which are mandatory for signatory states. The purest free trade agreement (FTA) removes all border taxes or trade barriers on goods. The commission, which was set up to assess the impact of the free trade agreement and Nigeria`s willingness to join, presented its report on 27 June. President Muhammadu Buhari finally signed the Agreement on the Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on Sunday. In addition to the effects of the pandemic, there is also the continent`s existing commercial architecture to overcome. Today`s regional trade agreements “show narrow trade patterns, depend on primary products and have a low level of intermediate trade,” said William Amponsah, a trade expert quoted by the United Nations. In fact, intra-African trade is dominated by a handful of countries that sell a handful of products. Although this situation is improving, there remains a problem that a simple increase in intra-African trade would not solve.

Although a sufficient number of countries have registered for the accession of the historic free trade agreement (it exceeded the 22-nation threshold when The Gambia signed in April), Nigeria`s former absence was a major concern of the African Union (AU). Nigeria will sign the agreement at an AU summit in Niger next week, President Buhari`s office confirmed in a tweet late on Tuesday. Nigeria is Africa`s largest economy and, for a long time, a regional leader, so observers, as they became bogged down, wondered whether the African trading bloc would ever take place. However, shortly before the agreement was signed last year, it abruptly changed course after unions and local businesses feared they would not be competitive if trade barriers were removed. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari signed the pioneering agreement at the African Union (AU) summit in Niger.