The Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)  is a free trade area with 28 countries from 2018.     It was created by the African Free Trade Agreement between 54 of the 55 african union nations.  The free trade area is the largest in the world, in terms of the number of participating countries since the creation of the World Trade Organization.  Accra, Ghana, is the secretariat of AFCFTA and was commissioned by Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo on 18 August 2020 in Accra and handed over to the AU. The African Union has launched the operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which, depending on the number of countries, will be the largest free trade area in the world once fully operational. The overall objectives of the agreement are: Eritrea has not signed due to tensions with Ethiopia, but after the 2018 Eritrea-Ethiopia summit, the AU Trade and Industry Commissioner now expects Eritrea to sign the agreement.  While global trade rules are being eroded in other regions, China and the United States are leading to a trade war and protectionism is strengthening its influence in many countries, Africa has the opportunity to create a trade buffer for itself. Since all countries are in a broad negotiating unit, it will have had much more power than before. A third question is how to conduct future trade negotiations with third parties. Faced with the consequences of a possible exit from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in 2025, Kenya has already begun negotiations for a free trade agreement with the United States.
The UK, which wants to conclude new trade deals after leaving the European Union, is also moving closer to a number of countries in the region. Kenya-U.S. The free trade agreement was particularly controversial, but perhaps wrongly: in principle, it does not prevent East African countries from negotiating with third parties. However, for the reasons outlined above with respect to the rules of origin, it is preferable to avoid totally different approaches in negotiations with third parties.