Morocco-Africa: Cabinet Council adopts bill on AfCFTA

he Moroccan Cabinet Council adopted Thursday at its weekly meeting Bill 11.19 ratifying the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), signed in March 2018 in Kigali, capital of the Rwanda.

The announcement was made by the Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi at the press briefing that followed the meeting.

To enter into force, the bill has to be ratified by the Parliament.

The agreement aims to facilitate integration between African markets, El Khalfi said, adding that the agreement considers regional economic communities as the pillars of AfCFTA’s establishment.

The council reiterated the same interpretation that Morocco had made when it signed the agreement establishing the African CFTA. These explanations made it clear that “the signing by the Kingdom of Morocco of the agreement establishing the AfCFTA, can in no way be understood or interpreted as an acknowledgment of a fact, a reality, a situation or an entity not recognized by the Kingdom likely to undermine its territorial integrity or its national unity, “said Minister El Khalfi.

The official was alluding to the self-proclaimed Sahrawi republic (SADR).

The AfCFTA’s stated goal is the creation of a single market followed by free movement and a single currency. The accord seeks to progressively eliminate tariffs on intra-African trade,
which hardly exceeds 16 percent of all African trade, a low rate compared to the European Union, where 70 percent of overall trade is between EU members.

The agreement also seeks to remove other trade barriers.

The CFTA should cover five regional blocks: the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA, made up of COMESA, SADC, and EAC), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD).

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