Intra-African Trade

Technological Innovation and COVID-19: Lessons for the AfCFTA

To ensure that innovative capacity is developed on the continent, it is pertinent to promote regional innovation. As a starting point, negotiators of the AfCFTA may consider including in the text appropriate provisions that will allow the collaboration and nurturing of innovative capacity in Africa. Open innovation is an approach that meets the needs of Africa and is worth considering.

A Tale of the Tended Garden: AfCFTA’s Nudge to Look Inward

On March 9 2018, the African Union Ministers of Trade approved the Declaration establishing the Agreement establishing African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA); a move that marked the creation of the largest Free Trade Area in the World. The Agreement seeks to create a single market for goods, services and movement of persons and investment among African countries thereby fostering intra-African trade, facilitating structural transformation of African economies and promoting sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development across the African continent. Whether this would turn out to be a significant positive development within the continent may largely depend on whether the broader issue is addressed- The continuous inclination of African States to explore the forest rather than tend the garden.

Digital Pathways for Fostering Post-COVID-19 Trade Outcomes

This blog aims to present some of the challenges being faced within Africa’s trade landscape and some of the workable policy instruments for overcoming these barriers in the digital post-COVID-19 age. In other words, the broad objective is to propose innovative solutions for enhancing post-COVID-19 economic resilience across businesses and households in a sustainable fashion.

FinTech Regulation and Africa's Growth Post Covid-19

As all the services carry the risk of financial crime such as money laundering and terrorism financing and risks to users (investors such as those investing through crowdfunding) regulation is key. Rather than regulate them out of existence, however, African economies should embrace a regulatory friendly approach to their operation which would be vital to: provide SMEs and individuals access to finance; kick start economies; create jobs and set Africa on the trajectory of growth again post the Covid-19 crises.

Technology, Innovation, Solidarity, COVID-19 and Lessons for the AfCFTA: A Brief Outline

Halting the rapid transmission of COVID-19 and reversing the trend of consequential global distress is a global concern and goal. As the WHO has rightly pointed out, this goal is only achievable when everyone, everywhere can access the health technologies they need for COVID-19 detection, prevention, treatment and response. This highlights the importance of international cooperation and solidarity for restoring global health security, now and for the future.

Proposed Solutions for Sub-Saharan Africa for Food and Agriculture in the Context of COVID-19

The shortcomings of the current legal and policy framework does not mean that responses to COVID19 should be lacking. Instead, there is adequate room for responses as we learn lessons and take notes to do better. The best way to move policy and law is to ensure that it is constantly reviewed to make sure they serve their purpose.

COVID-19 in Africa: A time for Despair or an Opportunity to Change the Direction of Travel?

The tragedy of the COVID-19 crisis has laid bare the frailties of African economies. COVID-19 has taught us, in the harshest way possible, that we are only as strong as the most vulnerable among us. This has compelled African leaders to recognize that regional cooperation is at the crux of the solution to the COVID-19 crisis. Hopefully, this positive momentum towards regional cooperation will extend to tackling the broader welfare issues challenging African societies.

Preserving Africa’s Fiscal Sustainability in the Wake of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement

It is trite to mention that the benefits and costs from trade expansion may never be evenly distributed across ACs. However, the estimated revenue loss should not be considered as an absolute loss for ACs as the long-term benefits, facilitated by adjustment support remain significant. It will allow comparative advantage to thrive, thereby granting customers and firms access to cheaper products/raw materials in the continent.