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September 8, 2021

African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement The Euphoria Pitfalls And Prospects

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNCA) estimates that the agreement will increase intra-African trade by 52% by 2022.4 The AfCFTA Treaty, one of the flagship projects of the AU`s Agenda 2063 and a pioneering continental agreement, aims to create a continental internal market for goods and services with free trade and investment. The agreement was negotiated by the AU and signed on 21 March 2018 by 44 of its 55 member states in Kigali, Rwanda.5 The agreement entered into force on 30 May 2019 and entered its operational phase after the AU summit on 7 July 2019.6 This article examines the main provisions of the AfCFTA with a view to identifying its prospects. and the challenges that can hinder the exploitation of its full potential. There is a lot of literature on continental free trade agreements and socio-economic growth. Hosny argues that regional integration is characterized by increased competition, investment flows, economies of scale, technology transfer and improved productivity.7 ns technologies, rationalised territorial distribution. n resource use, improved production efficiency and increased economic growth.8 Wandrei believes that trade agreements ultimately generate trade benefits for participating countries.9 Informal cross-border trade plays a crucial role in food security, but is also a major challenge for local traders and businesses. How should trade policy address informal cross-border trade under the AfCFTA? What prevents the inclusive formalization of agricultural trade in Africa? On the other hand, the range of outcomes of African CPCs indicates that regional integration is a complex process in which several factors play a role beyond tariffs. Some concerns, such as access to strong infrastructure (electricity, roads, rails, viable domestic private sector and local industries) would require a longer-term commitment to create an enabling environment for robust continental trade. Infrastructure bottlenecks have been a major obstacle to the progress of intra-African trade. Africa`s economic integration requires advanced technologies and the application and dissemination of knowledge to enable rapid trade. .

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