Q&A: What’s next for Africa’s continent-wide free trade agreement?

The African Continetal Free Trade Area Business Forum on the margins of the 10th African Union Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Governments held in Kiigali, Rwanda. Photo by: DIRCO / CC BY-ND

ABIDJAN — One month after 44 African nations signed on to the African Continental Free Trade Area — an agreement that could create the world’s largest duty-free trade market — efforts toward implementation are gathering steam.

Observers say that consolidating the continent into one trade area would provide vast opportunities to expand regional integration, encourage industrialization and diversification, and widen trade possibilities for businesses and consumers, but the agreement still needs to be ratified at the national level by those countries that have signed on.

If adopted by all 55…

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