AfCFTA, the catalyst for Africa’s growth | The New Times

Africa is growing, but not fast enough. In order for more than 400 million Africans to rise out of poverty, continued economic growth across Africa’s 54 nations will have to increase an average of 7 per cent annually or more.

One strong engine for growth is trade. But when it comes to trade, Africa is the least integrated region in the world, where intra-African exports were 18 per cent of total exports in 2016.

Recently, progress has come knocking—and loudly.

In March this year, African leaders took a major step forward when 44 of 54 African nations signed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the biggest trade agreement signed since the World Trade Organisation (WTO) was established.

The AfCFTA brings together 1.3 billion people, and a combined gross domestic product (GDP)…

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