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Opinions of Saturday, 9 February 2019

Columnist: Dadzie Peter

Bigger is better, size is everything; a case study of the African Continental Free Trade Area

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a decision of the Assembly of Heads of African States and Governments to boost Intra-Africa Trade by integrating Africa’s markets with the free movement of persons, capital, goods and services.

To achieve the objectives of the AfCFTA, State Parties are to among other things eliminate tariffs, liberalize trade in service, cooperate on investment, intellectual property rights and competition policy, and cooperate on all trade related areas and customs matters.

The Agreement will cover trade in goods and services, investment, intellectual property rights and competition policy. Eighteen ratifications have been recorded so far including Chad, Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, etc. Twenty two ratifications are needed to operationalize the AfCFTA.

The AfCFTA when fully operationalized will boost trade, uplift welfare, foster a vibrant and resilient African economic space, promote economic diversification, structurally transform Africa, bring about technological development and enhancement of human capital. It also has the potency to foster peace, security and political stability in Africa.

The AfCFTA will create a bigger and a better market size and in the words of Adam Smith “improve the productive powers of labour, increase real revenues and wealth” of Africa.

Thank you
Dadzie Peter
Teaching Assistant – KNUST
Research Fellow – ILAPI

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