Intra-African Trade

Nigeria’s hesitation in joining the AfCFTA train: the real problems beneath

Upon improving its infrastructure, Nigeria could very easily leverage its economic base in distributing its products within Africa and internationally. This is already the case in its ‘soft’ products, such as the Nigerian film and music industry, which has seeped into all nooks of African continent, and is largely received internationally. This can be replicated in other aspects, once the foundation is properly laid internally.

With AfCFTA in Mind: New Dawn for Afro-EU Relations?

There is a feeling that the next decade will be a watershed period in terms of the economic relations between the EU and Africa. Both continents are experiencing sweeping developments that will invariably affect their respective existence and mutual relationships. In Africa, the largest preferential trade area, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), has recently been ratified while in Europe, the EU is navigating the challenges of Brexit. All this is taking place in the backdrop of negotiations between the two blocs to replace the Cotonou Agreement which has since 2000 served as the bedrock of economic relations between the EU and ACP states. How, then, will the Africa-EU relationship be impacted – if at all – by the implementation of AfCFTA?

Mainstreaming Non-State Actors in African Regional Integration

Many mainstream discussions on African regional integration focus on the role of the executive, bureaucrats and state institutions (hereafter referred to as state-actors) in facilitating regional integration. While state-actors play crucial roles in enabling regional integration from a “top-down” perspective, concentration on these state-actors inadvertently means that less focus is paid to the non-state actors involved in the process. This article explains that while state-actors do facilitate regional integration from a top-down perspective, non-state actors have the potential to (and in some cases, already do) facilitate regional integration using a “bottom-up” approach.

UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM: TRADE DIVERSION AS A POTENTIAL STUMBLING BLOCK TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AfCFTA

This article contends that premised on being Africa’s major trading partners, economies such as the US, the EU, and China are likely to experience trade diversion when the AfCFTA comes into force. As a result of such potential trade diversion, the implementation of the AfCFTA could be hindered. It is only by addressing the interests of these economies that AfCFTA will foreclose the possibility of a “crisis of implementation”.