Trading up : African Integration

The first Africa Trade Week opened two days ago in Addis Ababa, urging us to come up with solutions to unanswered questions about the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). That initiative aims to bring together 54 African countries with a combined population of more than one billion people and a combined gross domestic product of more than U.S. $3.4 trillion. The objective is to create a single continental market for goods and services, free movement of business persons and investments and expand intra-African trade, among other things. The CFTA is also expected to enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise levels on the continent.

It is ambitious but necessary : today, “only 14% of African countries’ exports go to other African countries; in the European Union, by contrast, the figure is 62%”. Thus we can see that trade integration is an important component if we want to develop and integrate Africa. It is an issue that I am quite passionate about as I am certain that it might change the face of our continent.

I encourage you reading that excellent article from the Economist here that synthesizes issues tackled by the Trade Week. And last but not least, I wish you a great day.

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