Since then, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Lesotho, Burundi and South Africa signed the AfCFTA at the 31st African Union Summit in Nouakchott.  As of July 2019, 54 states have signed the agreement.  Several committees have been established for trade in goods, trade in services, rules of origin, trade measures, non-tariff barriers, technical barriers to trade, and sanitary and phytosanitary measures.  Dispute settlement rules and procedures are still under negotiation, but they likely involve the appointment of a dispute settlement body.  The Committee of Senior Trade Officials implements the Council`s decisions. The Committee is responsible for developing programmes and action plans for the implementation of the AfCFTA agreement.  These projects, in cooperation with European, Japanese and Indian partners, could have a significant impact on economic growth in Africa and on Africa`s expansion as a market for external goods and services. As we are currently presenting, Prosper Africa will be a one-stop shop to enable more trade and investment between U.S. and African companies. The initiative has clear links to the AfCFTA and, if fully implemented and adopted, could benefit both stakeholders. Given that the Nigerian government continued to consult with local business groups in the second half of 2018, one of the main concerns was whether the agreement adequately prevented anti-competitive practices such as dumping.
 As 2018 draws to a close, former President Olusegun Obasanjo said the delay was ”regrettable” and pointed to the lack of trade in goods between African countries, the difficulties in getting from one African country to another, and the colonial legacy of these restrictions on African growth.  The government`s steering committee responsible for the consultation process is expected to release its report on the agreement in January 2019.  Beyond the effects of the pandemic, there is also the continent`s existing trade architecture to overcome. Today`s regional trade agreements ”present narrow trading models, depend on primary products and include a low level of trade between countries,” said William Amponsah, a trade expert quoted by the United Nations. In fact, intra-African trade is dominated by a handful of countries that sell a handful of products. While this situation is improving, there remains a problem that a mere increase in intra-African trade would not solve. A third question is how to handle future business 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 to establish a free trade agreement with the United States.
The United Kingdom is working to conclude new trade agreements after its withdrawal from the European Union and is also approaching a number of countries in the region. The Kenya-U.S. Free Trade Agreement was particularly controversial, but perhaps too controversial: in principle, nothing prevents suspected East African countries from negotiating with third parties. However, for the above reasons concerning rules of origin, it is preferable to avoid totally different approaches in negotiations with third parties. . . .