Out of 55 AU Member States, 44 signed the agreement at the AU Extraordinary Summit held in Kigali, Rwanda, in March 2018. The first phase of the negotiations covers trade in goods, trade in services and dispute settlement. Phase II will cover investment, competition policy and intellectual property rights. Outstanding Phase I issues, such as tariff plans, rules of origin and modalities for trade in services, have yet to be resolved. At the same time, the Kigali Summit launched the process of ratifying the AfCFTA, with more and more AU member states having ratified the agreement in their national parliaments. The AU will enter into force on the 22nd ratification deposited with the AU. The different protocols are negotiated in two phases (see figure below). Phase 1 focused on three protocols: trade in goods with its 9 annexes, trade in services with its 3 annexes and dispute settlement. Phase 2 negotiations will focus on protocols on competition, intellectual property rights and investment.
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. Despite previous efforts to deepen economic relations, the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries remains extremely low. Indeed, total bilateral trade did not even reach $70 million in 2019, which represents only 0.5% of Ethiopia`s total exports and 0.09% of Kenya`s trade, mainly food, live animals and some industrial goods (Table 1). The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)  is a free trade area that has 28 countries as of 2018.     It was created by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement between 54 of the 55 nations of the African Union.  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 the AFCFTA and was mandated on August 18, 2020 by the President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo Addo Addo, in Accra and handed over to the AU. . . .