The AfCFTA is a free-trade area, outlined in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. The AfCFTA is the largest in the world in terms of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organisation.

On 5 December 2020, the 13th Extraordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly of the Heads of State and Government approved a decision to commence preferential trade under the AfCFTA as of 1 January 2021 on the basis of legally implementable and reciprocal schedules of tariffs concessions.

On 31 January 2024, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition launched the implementation of the start of preferential trade by South Africa.

For more information, see the letter to Trade.