7 July 2019.Niamey. 12th AU Extraordinary Summit. Ghana has been chosen by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) to host the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Ghana beat off competition from Egypt, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar and Senegal.
The core mandate of the Secretariat will be to implement the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, which has since been ratified by 25 member states.
With the AfCFTA now the world’s largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organisation, it will cover a market of 1.2 billion people, with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.5 trillion, across the fifty-four (54) Member States of the African Union that have signed up to the Agreement.
Ghana is ready to donate US$10 million to the African Union to support the operationalisation of the Secretariat. President Akufo-Addo also called on pan-African institutions such as the UN Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank, the African Export-Import Bank and other key stakeholders, including friends of Africa, to provide such support as they can towards the establishment of the Secretariat.