Africa’s trade future is taking shape as 24 new countries prepare to join the « Guided Trade Initiative » within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). To this end, member states urgently need to draw up a roadmap for public-private partnerships to boost their competitiveness.
Full implementation of the African Trade area(AfCFTA)agreement could increase member states’ real income by 7%, or nearly 450 billion dollars. On the occasion of the Friends of the AfCFTA Forum held on january 17,2024 under the theme « Stimulating action within the framework of the AfCFTA », Rwandan President Paul Kagame reiterated the imperative of a partnership between the private and public sectors in a way that helps change the discourse that Africa is too risky a continent.
“There is no better way of advancing our African continental free trade area imperatives than consolidating between the private sector and the public sector so we look forward to a very strong presence and activity by the private sector.”Paul KAGAME, President of the Republic – Rwanda
The idea of creating a continental African free-trade zone was born out of the realisation that trade relations between African countries were weak, at just 16% compared with around 70% with Europe and Asia. Its aim is to open up Africa to itself, a market with a population of around 1.2 billion and which, according to estimates by the African Development Bank, will reach 2.5 billion by 2050.
“We must change the narrative about Africa being a too risky continent. I think the full picture and explanation of the situation will be through this collaboration.”Paul KAGAME, President of the Republic – Rwanda
This agreement, which came into effect on May 30, 2019, should ultimately enable African countries to avoid becoming a zone of influence for the benefit of countries exporting goods and services to Africa. Specialists estimate that the percentage of public-private partnerships between Africa and the rest of the world is only 4%.