The European Business Council for Africa

In a break from the usual format, this week’s editorial comes in the form of our new podcast, which looks at plans to start trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in early 2021.

The original date of July 01, 2020 has been pushed back due to the coronavirus, with initiative’s lead official vowing to press on with implementation regardless of what happens with the pandemic.

On paper this is a major milestone for a plan aimed at nothing short of unifying the continent’s 54 economies into a single, $3tr market, in turn transforming intra-African trade.

The rapid transition from launch in early 2018, to ratification in 2019, and planned active trading by 2021, raises important questions about Africa’s ability to execute on such an ambitious plan.

From underdeveloped infrastructure, to poor trade facilitation, patchy political will, and the region’s first recession in decades - the AfCFTA faces steep obstacles.

 Read the full article here.