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Tanzania ratifies Africa free trade area treaty

Tanzania on Thursday ratified the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), effectively joining a pact connecting countries with a total gross domestic product of $3.4 trillion.

Minister of Industry and Trade, Kitila Mkumbo, made the announcement via Twitter, noting the country has joined a market of 1.2 billion customers.

AfCTA was first opened for signing in April 2018 but came into application in 2019 after the requisite minimum of 21 of the 55 member states ratified it.After signing, parliamentary approval is required for the ratification of the agreement.
The ratification is seen as an indicator of President Samia Suluhu Hasan’s intention to return the country to regional integration.
The ratification comes barely two months after the AfCFTA secretary General Wamkele Mene held discussions with the Tanzanian leaders.  Mene sought the assurance of Tanzania’s commitment to the agreement to which President Samia promised to join “very soon”.
Of the 54 countries that signed the deal, only 38 countries including Tanzania have ratified the treaty.

AfCFTA provides a unified market of 1.2 billion people with a combined GDP of $3 trillion.