Kenya and Ghana have become the first signatory countries to formally ratify the new African Continental Free Trade Area.
The pan-African free trade agreement, which aims to eliminate trade barriers between the 55 African Union member states, requires at least 22 countries to submit instruments of ratification to come into effect.
With the terms of the trade pact having been formalized in March 2018, efforts are now being made to bring the agreement into force by 2019. Following Kenya and Ghana's ratifications, other African nations are now looking to follow suit, with Rwanda and Niger very close to doing so.
Rwandan trade and industry minister Vincent Munyeshyaka told KT Press: "We have confidence that more than 22 countries will have submitted instrument of ratification before the end of December this year."
He added that Rwanda will be working with other African nations to ensure the necessary signatures are secured as soon as possible.