WANDILE SIHLOBO: African free-trade pact gives reason for hope in agriculture
Sector’s growth in the past few decades has been export-driven, and the continent has been a key market
Agriculturally, the recently launched African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is an important development, although a reduction of tariffs alone won’t necessarily encourage trade. Much work is to be done across the continent on the lack of infrastructure, costly and prohibitive border processes, corruption and weak institutions.
Optimism about the pact stems from SA agricultural growth having been export-driven over the past few decades, and the rest of the continent being a key market. Over the past 10 years it has accounted for an average of 44% of SA exports, which equates to $3.9bn, up from an average of less than 30% in the prior decade.