Africa eyes moment of free-trade transformation
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Africa eyes moment of free-trade transformation

The continent is implementing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to boost intra-regional trade, economic growth and industrialization, but can 54 countries overcome so many obstacles and ratify the agreement?




In March, under the auspices of the African Union and its chair, Rwandan president Paul Kagame, 44 African countries signed up to be part of the largest trading bloc in the world after the World Trade Organization. 

In July, after dragging its feet, South Africa finally signed up. 

“When South Africa came to the table, we knew things were getting serious,” says Peter Enti, partner and portfolio manager at Nubuke Investments, an investment and advisory business that focuses on Africa.

Peter Enti,
Nubuke Investments

Along with South Africa, a further four African countries joined the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) bringing the total to 49 so far. Some countries have even started to ratify it – 22 countries will need to do so for the agreement to come into force. 

At the heart of the agreement is the creation of a single market, with free movement of investment and capital, eventually leading to the creation of an African customs union for the entire continent covering 1.2

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