How African free-trade area can avoid EU mistakes
Consolidation is essential before countries embark on economic integration
Brexit is weakening the UK economy and destabilising the EU, and to some extent the rest of the world. Recent developments in the EU offer important lessons for Africa as leaders on the continent forge ahead to establish a continent-wide free-trade area. Recently, SA joined about 50 other countries in signing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, which aims to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business people and investments. The goal is to pave the way for the establishment of an African customs union. Intra-African trade remains very low when compared to other major regions in the world, such as the EU and Asia. Therefore such a pact, if well managed, could play a pivotal role in addressing the continent’s developmental challenges by harnessing the potential of all countries in the region.
With about 1.2-billion people in Africa and a combined GDP of more than $2.2-trillion, the agreement could create on...