In short, in order to make decisive progress in the implementation of afCFTA, East Africa must be better integrated, both internally and with the wider African economy. However, it would be preferable, whenever possible, for national policies to be coordinated and for regional blocs to move closer together. AfCFTA will provide the perfect framework to achieve this goal by reviving existing commitments, such as comesa and eAC, or commitments under the tripartite agreement between SADC, COMESA and ABC. In 1963, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was founded by the independent states of Africa. The aim of the OAU was to promote cooperation between African states. The 1980 Lagos Action Plan was adopted by the organization. The plan proposed that Africa minimize its dependence on the West by encouraging intra-African trade. It began with the creation of a number of regional cooperation organizations in different parts of Africa, such as the Conference on the Coordination of Southern African Development. Finally, in 1991, this led to the Abuja Treaty, which founded the African Economic Community, an organization that encouraged the development of free trade zones, customs union, an African Central Bank and a common African monetary union.   44 countries first signed the agreement on 21 March 2018. Nigeria was one of 11 African Union countries that avoided the signing of the treaty. At the time, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigeria could do nothing to undermine local producers and entrepreneurs.
 The Nigerian Manufacturers` Association, which represents 3,000 Nigerian manufacturers, welcomed the decision to withdraw from the agreement.  Nigeria`s foreign minister tweeted that more internal consultations are needed before Nigeria can sign the agreement.  Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said Nigeria`s delay was regrettable.  The Nigerian Labour Congress called the agreement a "renewed, extremely dangerous and radioactive neoliberal political initiative", suggesting that increased economic pressure would push workers to rush into difficult and precarious conditions.  On July 21, 2018, five other nations signed the agreement, including South Africa. At the time, the Nigerian government stressed that its non-participation was a delay, not a withdrawal, and promised to sign the agreement quickly.  As the Minister of Foreign Affairs had previously pointed out, the Nigerian government intended to continue its discussions with local businesses to ensure the purchase of the agreement by the private sector.  44 African countries recently signed a Framework Protocol for the Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) that brings the continent closer to becoming one of the largest free trade zones in the world. In particular, Africa`s two largest economies - Nigeria and South Africa - have not signed the Kigali agreement. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, under pressure from Nigerian industries, who fear the CFTA will lose jobs in Nigeria, has not signed.
South Africa`s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, said his nation wanted to join, but only after the necessary legal action had been taken. However, both countries should join in due course. "This is essential, because services account for about 60% of Africa`s GDP and, for example, in 2014, services accounted for 30% of world trade.... Markets for national services will be open to service providers from other African countries," Muchanga said. A July 2017 report by the UN Economic Commission for Africa argues that GASTA can contribute to the fight against poverty and inequality, as its broader scope will facilitate structural changes in African economies. It is seen as a step towards the African Union`s 2063 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. The purpose of the document was to ensure that human rights were taken into account in the negotiations.   For more information, please contact your senior representative of Jones Day or the lawyers listed below.