Trade integration in Africa depends on fixing the infrastructure deficit
If construction and building material industries get ahead of the wave, they can benefit from investment surge
The world recently witnessed the signing of the biggest free trade area in the world by heads of African governments in Kigali, Rwanda. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is the largest such free trade area in terms of the number of countries involved. The African continent consists of 55 countries, with 55-odd currencies (some have chosen to adopt the dollar), 55 regulatory frameworks — and 55 different sets of red tape. This scenario means doing business on the African continent can be challenging, for both foreign and domestic investors. However, there is a general consensus among economists and scholars alike that, when it comes into force, the AfCFTA will yield major economic benefits for the continent, its citizens and businesses. But what does it mean for African businesses and international investors? What opportunities does it offer for our industry? The new trade area gives the infrastructure-build programme added impetus. A researcher at the Cape-based Trade...