While the economic importance of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is now settled, this blog highlights the significance of having a bold competition protocol to ensure that the potentials of an open market system are actualized, by protecting the consumers and small scale suppliers.
What role does context play for African countries under the African Continental Free Trade Area's (AfCFTA) IP Protocol? This blog argues that the IP Protocol provides an opportunity to systematically and comprehensively incorporate IP-related issues into the AFCFTA development-oriented agenda.
The first seeming obstacle to the emergence of a single African market is the contradictions between the stated aims of AfCFTA and some of the principles set out in the AfCFTA Agreement. As noted earlier, AfCFTA’s objectives include creating “a single market” and laying “the foundations for the establishment of a Continental Customs Union”. Yet, one of the principles under Article 5 is “variable geometry”, that is, differentiated integration. Of course, variable geometry was designed to recognise the heterogeneity and diversity in Africa’s economies. However, a single market is not consistent with an a la carte approach, where members integrate at different speeds.