Africa-Wide Free-Trade Zone Launched, With Potential $2.5tn Market

A flag of Africa. AU

The largest free-trade in the world, spanning the African continent with its 1.2 billion people, has come into effect, aiming to eradicate tariffs and create single market for a potential market worth $2.5 trillion.

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) comes into effect on 30 May 2019, having been signed by 52 of the AU’s 55-member states. Significantly, Nigeria, the continent’s largest economy, has not signed the agreement due to pressure from its  manufacturer and labour industries.

Calling it a “historic milestone,” African Union (AU) commissioner for trade and industry Albert Muchanga tweeted that its launch was a “triumph of bold, pragmatic and continent-wide commitment to economic integration”.

He says the market will formally launch on 7 July 2019 and will “begin the journey of transformation to secure inclusive prosperity”. Continue reading …

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