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Africa : challenges of the African Continental Free Trade Area on African countries

Operational since January 1, 2021, the African Continental Free Trade Area has several challenges, including that of  lifting nearly 100 million Africans out of poverty. To achieve this, the institution goes through the challenge of negotiating a trade agreement between 55 countries, with different economic and trade profiles. To go through this, AFCFTA has the support of the financial partnership of Afreximbank.

The stakes of the African Continental Free Trade Area on the continent’s economy is stipulated on the 2063 African union agenda. For this instrument to be fully implemented, at least 75% of the continent’s resources will have to be mobilized at the national level. This is however the fixed objective of different continental actors aiming at materializing the said challenge. 

“The moment has come to see whether we can double our efforts to ensure the mobilization of internal resources.  works are in progress to ameliorate tax administration throughout africa as well as to exchange information  for tax purposes so we can  be able  to foresee the elements responsible for financial illicit and failures. With that, we should be able to expand and deepen the national resource base. For the moment, africa needs international support, however we are taking measures to ensure that we are developing the internal capacities required to manage our own national  resources for developpement”

Albert MUCHANGA African Union Commissioner for Economic Development Zambia

Africa now displays 87,7% of achievement in terms of agreement between regions. This places the continent in a good position to ensure trade in the continent. In 2021, trade ministers reached an agreement and acknowledged 87,7% of the original  rules which made it possible for 60 000 products to be commercialized.

The AFCFTA will considerably stimulate intra-African trade. If the accord is effectively put in place by 2035, we will have the possibility to contribute up to  450 billion dollars  to Africa’s overall GDP. We equally have the privilege to stimulate intra-African trade up to 80% and to lift nearly 100 million Africans out of poverty if we effectively implement the agreement. With the trade accords, it’s impossible to notice the day to day progress. The best thing to do is to fix objectives for the next  20 to 30 years and this is precisely the case with europe. The integration project in Europe equally took time before it was achieved.

Wamkele MENE Secretary General of the AFCFTA South Africa

In the ambitious project to definitely implement the  African Continental Free Trade Area,  financial partners’ contribution stays fondamental. By the way, the import and export african bank is very involved in the operationalization of the African Continental Free Trade Area

We actually have  16 landlocked countries on the continent. For this purpose, goods must cross borders by road or rail. There is a need for effective fragmented transit guarantee systems and this is actually what we are working on to get in working with the AFCFTA secretary and the african union commission. We have put in place solid financial bases  to support enterprises focusing on trade. These are just some of the things we have done.

Benedict Oramah President of Afreximbank Nigeria

Let’s recall that the African Continental Free Trade Area is the only trade accord  supported by a bank, the afreximbank which was however created in 1993. The idea for the creation of this bank came up from the vision of the founding fathers which aimed at  providing Africa with a continental free trade agreement and a common market. 


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