Ambitious AfCFTA will create world’s biggest free-trade zone
The African free-trade agreement has the potential to increase growth, raise welfare and stimulate industrial development across the continent
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) — which has the potential to create a single African market of over one-billion consumers with a total GDP of more than $3-trillion — comes into effect at the end of May 2019. This trade agreement, which will make Africa the largest free-trade area in the world, was given the go ahead on April 29 as 22 countries have now ratified its adoption. While the trade agreement comes into effect at the end of this month, work however still needs to be done on the operationalisation of the agreement and the supporting instruments that need to be finalised. According to the AU, these instruments will involve complex negotiations as they cover “rules of origin; schedules of tariff concessions on trade in goods; online non-tariff barriers monitoring and elimination mechanism; digital payments and settlement platform; and, African Trade Observatory Portal”. Several studies undertaken by economic researchers predict that the AfCFTA has the potenti...
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