The implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area: What is the status?

The AfCFTA emphasizes the reduction of tariffs and non-tariff barriers, and the facilitation of free movement of people and labour, right of residence, right of establishment, and investment. Yet the hype around the AfCFTA’s agenda could experience a boomerang effect if negotiations on some protocols and annexes become protracted.

Despite its extensive propagation by the AU leadership, some experts have cautioned against the way ahead for the AfCFTA, yet expectations remain high. There are several challenges on the road ahead. Member nations of the African Union vary in their preparedness to execute the requirements of the agreement and its related protocols and annexes. It is also a fact that in order for the AfCFTA to thrive, the continent needs to address the existing annual infrastructure deficit—about USD$108 billion according to the African Development Bank (2018)—to be able to drive free trade. 

Additionally, the continent would require billions of dollars to strengthen supply chains as well as fi scal and monetary policy in order to ensure that the bene fi ts of the agreement are maximized. Primarily, there is the need to develop national strategies to guide the implementation of the AfCFTA. Therefore, the central objective of this discussion was to discuss the implementation of the AfCFTA and to inform the audience about challenges, opportunities and current status.

In accordance with the moderator Ms. Anysies Ishimwe, Mrs Peace Basemera, and Mr Eric Manzi, experts on the topic, engaged the audience in the discussion.

Watch below a short recorded video on the above discussion

The implementation of the Africa continental free trade area – What is the status?

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