Trade Week Africa and the Continental Free Trade Area

Africa is not rejecting trade agreements. All 54 countries on the continent are projected to be in the Continental Free Trade Area, or CFTA, which “is shaping up to be the largest free trade area in the world in terms of the population it covers,” notes Amy Copley for the Brookings Institution. The African Union and UN groups continue negotiations, and analysts suggest that CFTA could increase intra-African trade by $80 billion. Such intra-African trade now represents about one-10th of trade in Africa, and Copley points out that “It is often cheaper for African countries to export to a foreign market than to an African counterpart.” The disparity is in large part caused by disproportionately high tariffs among different African regions compared to those levied against the rest of the world. Progress in the CFTA’s encouragement of “free movement of labor and capital for over a billion people” stands in contrast to the struggles and controversies of American trade agreements with Asia and Europe. – YaleGlobal

Trade Week Africa and the Continental Free Trade Area

Potential free trade deal CFTA, in an age where they are increasingly unpopular, could boost low intra-African trade and improve the flow of labor and capital
Amy Copley
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The author is a research analyst and project coordinator at the Africa Growth Initiative. Junaid Belo-Osagie contributed to this post.

Copyright 2016 The Brookings Institution

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