ECA

Introduction to the Symposium on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA)

The signing of the consolidated text of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in March 2018 by 47 African Union member States was a significant milestone. It was the first time since the Abuja Treaty of 1994 that a continental trade agreement had been negotiated. This symposium critically appraises the agenda of the AfCFTA. It kicks off with a post that boldly makes the case why this agreement promises to redress the comparatively low levels of intra-regional trade as well as the dearth of high value exports from Africa.

Making the Case for the African Continental Free Trade Area

The AfCFTA will over a period of 15 years after entry into force progressively eliminate tariffs on intra-African trade, making it easier for African businesses to trade within the continent and cater to and benefit from the growing African market. Consolidating this continent into one trade area provides great opportunities for trading enterprises, businesses and consumers across Africa and the chance to support sustainable development in the world’s least developed region.