The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA)—originally set to begin in July but postponed because of COVID-19—will now start January 1st, 2021.
The following update comes from Africa News.
AfCFTA has been signed and ratified by all 55 African Union states except Eritrea, and its plan will increase intra-trade on the continent by 6% by the year 2034. This will create an economic bloc of $3.4 trillion and lift over 30 million Africans out of extreme poverty. However, this plan will take some time before progress is made.
The Head of African Futures & Innovation at the Institute for Security Studies, Jakkie Celliers, advised the following:
“The progress with the continental free trade area has been remarkable, very rapid. But I think there is still a very long road ahead.”
“Not only must the tariffs negotiations be finalized, but countries that are at odds with one another, that have closed borders with one another need to make decisions.”
“Corruption of government officials, slow processing of documentation around the borders… and lack of capacity will remain a challenge going forward in implementing the continental free trade area and making it real.”
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Until Next Time…
Photo Credit: Outside Insight