According to the president’s office, this development came after Parliament in December ratified the agreement of the establishment of the AfCFTA.
The agreement will come into effect once 22 member states have deposited their instruments of ratification, the presidency said.
South Africa’s action, alongside that of Senegal, Sierra Leonne, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mauritius, who also deposited their instruments at the summit, brings the number of countries that have ratified the agreement to 17 states.
Ramaphosa handed the instrument to AU Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat.
“We do so willingly, having been mandated to do it, and becoming one of the African states who have now signed to become full participants of the Africa Free Trade.
“We, therefore, deposit this instrument with great pride and joy. It creates opportunities for all of us as Africans,” Ramaphosa said as he handed the instrument to Mahamat.
He said the AfCFTA, not only opens up a market of 1.2 billion people, but also offers great opportunities for the South African economy.