The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Came Into Effect
In a nutshell, it means a single market of goods and services for 1.2 billion people with an aggregate GDP of over $2 trillion. UNCTAD, the UN’s trade body, predicts reducing intra-African tariffs under AfCFTA “could bring $3.6 billion in welfare gains to the continent through a boost in production and cheaper goods.”
One of the more stark economic data points about Africa is just how little African countries trade with each other—just 16% of total continental trade in 2014. The UN Economic Commission for Africa thinks AfCFTA has the potential to raise intra-African trade by 15% to 25%, or $50 billion to $70 billion, by 2040.
One of the realities of implementing an agreement like AfCFTA is that it requires not just the governments but crucially the input of African businesses and everyday Africans. And not many institutions are asking them, so Kasi Insight, which carries out consumer insight studies across some of Africa’s larger economies, did just this with consumers.
If you want to read more on the AfCFTA or the study mentioned above, you can read the full article on Quartz here.