Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo told Kigali media: “This is where our salvation lies: trade between them and therefore the development of our economies. This agreement will lead to a change in the perception of the continent by the rest of the world. The afCFTA`s perimeter is important. The agreement will reduce tariffs between Member States and cover policy areas such as trade facilitation and services, as well as regulatory measures such as hygiene standards and technical barriers to trade. Full implementation of AfCFTA would transform markets and economies across the region and boost production in the services, manufacturing and raw materials sectors. At the Kigali Summit, areas of agreement were reached on trade protocols, dispute settlement procedures, customs cooperation, trade facilitation and rules of origin. This was part of Phase I of the agreement, which deals with the liberalisation of goods and services. There was also a consensus on reducing tariffs to 90% of all goods. Each nation can exclude 3% of the goods from this agreement.  In the short term, countries may protect or impose tariffs on 10% of products considered “sensitive products”, but these safeguards will be abolished in the future. After the Kigali summit, more signatures were added for the AfCFTA.
At the African Union summit in Nouakchott on 1 July 2018, five other nations, including South Africa, joined the agreement. Kenya and Ghana were the first nations to ratify the agreement and file their ratifications on 10 May 2018.  Of the signatories, 22 had to ratify the agreement in order for it to enter into force, and it happened on 29 April 2019, when Sierra Leone and the Arab Democratic Republic of the Sahara ratified the agreement.  As a result, the agreement came into force 30 days later on 30 May 2019; At that time, only Benin, Nigeria and Eritrea had not signed. Outstanding issues, such as trade agreements and rules of origin, are still being negotiated. [when?] The strongest safeguards are “trade remedies,” including a measure allowing countries to apply anti-dumping duties on imports below their fair value, to offset the impact of duties on imports subject to unjustified subsidies.