African Union seeks aid for states affected by free trade zone

The African Union is seeking billions of dollars in aid to compensate governments whose revenues will suffer from cutting tariffs to join the continent’s free trade area.

Albert Muchanga, the AU trade commissioner, said he wanted to create an “adjustment mechanism” that would be used to provide budget support, improve officials’ competence and develop infrastructure during the period of “short-term losses” until the expected “long-terms gains” of greater trade materialise.

Forty-four of the 55 members of the African Union in March created the African Continental Free Trade Area that will cut 90 per cent of tariffs from their current average of 6.1 per cent to…

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