Achieving an African Continental Free Trade Area with Content

As Africa launches its massive Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) on 21 March 2018 in Kigali at an extra-ordinary Summit of the African Union to be hosted by President Paul Kagame, the most important priority for the last minute preparatory meetings must be to ensure good content and quality. This is to avoid launching an empty or redundant CFTA.

The CFTA promises enormous benefits and welfare gains by doubling intra-Africa trade, but this will all depend on how good the deal finally agreed is and how soon it kicks in. Africa is the last stronghold of poverty on earth, with some of the worst human development indicators.

As one of the 12 flagship programs under the African Union’s Agenda 2063, the CFTA is a key test of the determination of Africa to work resolutely towards achieving an…

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