Understanding the African Continental Free Trade Area: Beyond “Single Market” to “Africa’s Rejuvenation” Analysis

Dr. Kaze Armel


While global trends continue to move from integration towards heightened protectionism, and retaliatory trade measures, African countries improved their intra-regional trade levels and deepened their regional integration by launching the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The AfCFTA seeks to deepen Africa’s market integration at regional and continental levels; smash down tariff barriers within Africa; boost intra-Africa trade; promote regional and continental value chains; and hopefully deliver Africa’s rejuvenation. However, Africa as a continent is facing many challenges, especially its notions and concepts of development, plus the complications caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, questions are being aroused on whether African policy makers are prepared enough to overcome the AfCFTA related challenges. This article examines the mechanisms needed to fully implement the recently signed continental free trade area deal, its impact on Africa’s Regional Economic Communities (RECs), and what’s in it for Africa’s major economic partners. In this article, the author will also point out existing daunting challenges and give a series of policy recommendations.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/eshs.v1n2p84


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