The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, delayed by six months as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, came into effect on January 1 2021, creating a new dawn of opportunity for trade on the continent.

Intra-African trade has historically been fairly limited at less than 18% compared to intraregional trade of more than 50% with Europe and Asia.

AfCFTA aims to address this by creating the largest free trade area globally based on the number of participating countries. It plans to connect 1.2-billion people in 55 countries with a combined GDP of about $4-trillion and remove some of the main obstacles to intra-African trade, including weak productive capacities and limited economic diversification as well as remove — or at least significantly reduce —tariffs related to intra-African trade.


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