Continental ambition: transforming Africa – The Hindu


The African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) is a potential game changer for the world’s poorest region. The pact — signed by 44 of the 55-member African Union (AU) in March — seeks to create a single market in goods and services, free movement of persons and investment, and eventually a customs union with a common external tariff.

In recent years, intra-regional commerce as a share of Africa’s overall trade has risen to 15% from 8% in 2011, points out Moody’s, the ratings agency. But then exports within Africa accounted for a mere 18% of the continent’s total exports in 2016, compared to 59% and 69% of intra-regional exports in Asia and Europe, respectively, according to the Brookings Institution. With a number of African countries ranking among the world’s fastest-growing…

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