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Saturday, 31 March 2018

AfCFTA .. A New African Giant

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has been signed by 44 African countries at a summit of the African Union in Kigali, Rwanda.
The summit was a step forward for the AU's 2063 project for closer African integration, with 27 member states also signing a commitment for the free movement of persons.
The AfCFTA has the potential to bring over 1.2bn people together into the same market. The bloc of 55 nations would be the largest in the world by member states.
Rwanda's President Paul Kagame signs an agreement for establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area.
African leaders signed the agreement that is predicted to boost intra-African trade. If successful, it will be the biggest trade agreement since the formation of the World Trade Organization in 1995.
By reducing barriers to trade, such as removing import duties and non-tariff barriers, African countries hope to boost intra-continental business.
The AfCFTA could improve trade between African countries, which in 2016 estimates stated accounted for only 10%.
The idea of a continent-wide trade agreement has been work in progress for decades, but has accelerated in the past few years by African leaders committed to Pan-African integration.
However, the current trade relations among the African countries are much more less than other countries in the world.
The trade balance within the African continent is only 16% compared to 19% in Latin America, 51% in Asian, 54% in America, and 70% in Europe.
According to UN reports the AfCFTA can boost the trade in Africa to reach 54% through the removing the importation fees and the customs barriers a matter that can also create an African market for more than 1.2 billion of people with Gross Domestic Production of about US$2.5 Trillion.
Sudanese economic experts suggest that such economical bloc is a new economical power which should not be missed by the Sudanese government considering that the country did not benefit from the COMESA and the Arab Free Trade Agreement.
By launching the AfCFTA, the African Union has achieve a considerable leap, so Sudan should fully benefit from this new African economical giant through  improving the quality of the Sudanese products and reducing the production cost for the purpose of competition, as this could represent a practical exercise for fulfilling the requirements of joining the WTO.
The AfCFTA is a step towards achieving African integration among the countries of the black continent.