Despite the skepticism expressed in some quarters about the ability of countries to implement the pioneering trade agreement, there are strong reasons to be optimistic. At that summit, Benin and Nigeria signed the agreement, so Eritrea is the only African State not to be part of this agreement; In the meantime, Eritrea has applied to accede to the agreement. Gabon and Equatorial Guinea also deposited their ratifications at the summit. At the time of launch, there were 27 states that had ratified the agreement.     The scope of the AfCFTA is broad. The agreement will reduce tariffs between member states and cover policies such as trade facilitation and services, as well as regulatory measures such as hygiene standards and technical barriers to trade. Full implementation of the AfCFTA would reshape markets and economies across the region and increase output in the services, manufacturing and natural resources sectors. . . .