Summary of 6 reasons why Africa's new free trade area is a global game changer

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6 reasons why Africa's new free trade area is a global game changer summary

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The African Continental Free Trade Area represents an ambitious undertaking that seeks to transform African and global commerce. Unprecedented in its scope, this massive free trade region champions global cooperation at a time when many nations are turning inward and questioning the merits of economic integration. Policy analyst Caroline Kende-Robb outlines the plan’s potential benefits for Africa as well as its possible pitfalls.

About the Author

Caroline Kende-Robb is a senior fellow at the African Center for Economic Transformation.


The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) seeks to raise the commercial profile of the continent.

The accord encompasses 55 nations with a combined population of 1.3 billion people. It sets a blueprint for continental cross-border economic cooperation by creating a single market and integrating the region into global supply chains. It all but eliminates tariffs; streamlines customs requirements; and outlines rules for the movement of people, goods, services, intellectual property and capital.

The AfCFTA launched on January 1, 2021, when Africa’s contribution to global...

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