AFCFTA – One year after launch

When African Leaders came together on March 21, 2018 to sign the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement in Kigali, the entire continent was engulfed in doubt and trepidation that probably this would turn out to be a white elephants concocted by the political class.

However, it is now clear to all and sundry that the AfCFTA is a transformative initiative that will irreversibly change the fortunes of the continent.

It is envisaged that the AfCFTA will be the largest free trade area in the world connecting 1.3 billion people across 55 countries with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) valued at US$3.4 trillion. This will create a single, continent-wide market for goods and services, business and investment and would re-shape African economies for good.

UNCTAD (United National Conference on Trade and Development) estimates that the AfCFTA could boost intra-African trade by about 33% and cut the continent’s trade deficit by 51%.

In the video below, Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, captures the gains made so far.


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