African Union "Women and young Africans are at the heart of the implementation of #AfCFTA - H.E @MeneWamkeleStatement by AfCFTA SG delivered at the handover ceremony of the AfCFTA Secretariat to African Union (© AfricanUnion/twitter

The Assembly of Heads of State at the African Union has given a directive to trade negotiators and ministers to conclude all outstanding negotiations, regarding the African Continental Free Trade Agreement by the end of June this year.

This includes the protocols on rules of origin which seeks to deal with the issue of third party exports into the free zone area.

Secretary General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, Wamkele Mene told a media interaction that members are working assiduously to meet the timeline, especially on the rules of origin which is about 90% completed.

“There has been a lot of work ongoing by the ministers on outstanding negotiations and especially on rules of origin which is about 86% to 90% concluded because this will deal with issues of transshipment and third party exports”.

“The ministers also recalled the directive by the Heads of State to ensure that all negotiations are concluded by the end of June this year, so there will be more frequent meetings to ensure that this target is achieved” he noted.

The African Council of Trade Ministers had their 5th Session in Accra during the week to deliberate on some matters concerning the trade deal as well as dialogue on the just ended inaugural meeting by the Dispute Resolution Body.