The government of Benin, in an official statement, has announced that it has decided to defer signature of the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), so as to conclude “consultations” with the parliament and the social and economic actors in the country.However, “the government is willing to work for the implementation of this agreement,” signed by at least 44 African states at the extraordinary AU Assembly held Wednesday in Kigali, Rwanda.
Insisting on the realization of the AfCFTA, the government of Benin believes it will be achieved “through a realistic roadmap, taking into account the specificities of each of the economic regions” of the continent.
“Therefore, in approving the Kigali Declaration to launch the AfCFTA, the government of Benin proposed that the Expert Committee deepen the diagnostic and feasibility studies, and define an adequate roadmap with the specific obligations of States Parties,” the communiqué said.
According to news media reports, countries that signed the Kigali Declaration have up to 160 days to ratify the agreement, while those that have not signed in Kigali still have time to sign within the stipulated 160 days, before implementation starts.
APA has also learned that the occasion of the next six-monthly African Union summit scheduled in Mauritania in July, is when countries unable to sign the agreement now will finally be in a position to do so.