Africa Free Trade Agreement 2019

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is a landmark agreement that aims to create a single market for goods and services in Africa, with the goal of boosting intra-African trade and economic growth. The agreement was signed by 44 African countries in March 2018, and as of July 2019, 54 of the 55 African Union (AU) member states have signed it.

The AfCFTA is expected to create a market of 1.2 billion people with a combined GDP of over $2.5 trillion. The agreement seeks to eliminate tariffs on 90% of goods traded between African countries, and to gradually phase out tariffs on the remaining 10%. It also includes provisions for the liberalization of services and movement of people across the continent.

One of the key advantages of the AfCFTA is that it will enable African countries to trade more with each other, rather than relying on exports to other regions. This will help to reduce the vulnerability of African economies to global economic shocks and fluctuations in commodity prices. It will also create opportunities for African businesses to expand their customer base, boost productivity, and access new markets.

The AfCFTA has the potential to significantly boost economic growth and create jobs in Africa. The UN Economic Commission for Africa estimates that the AfCFTA could increase intra-African trade by 52.3% by 2022, and by 2028, it could increase the value of intra-African trade by $35 billion per year. The agreement is also expected to attract more foreign investment to the continent, as companies seek to take advantage of the larger market and reduced trade barriers.

Despite the potential benefits of the AfCFTA, there are also some challenges that need to be addressed. One of the main challenges is the infrastructure deficit in many African countries, which can make it difficult and expensive to transport goods across borders. There are also concerns about the impact of the AfCFTA on vulnerable sectors, such as agriculture, which may face increased competition from other African countries.

In conclusion, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement is a historic initiative that has the potential to transform the African continent. By creating a single market for goods and services, the AfCFTA can boost intra-African trade, create jobs, and stimulate economic growth. While there are certainly challenges to be addressed, the potential benefits of the AfCFTA make it an exciting prospect for Africa`s future.