Making the Most of the African Continental Free Trade Area: Leveraging Trade and Foreign Direct Investment to Boost Growth and Reduce Poverty highlights the gateways to Africa’s increased prosperity through the closer economic cooperation the AfCFTA promises. It estimates the potential economic and social benefits of the AfCFTA in terms of boosting trade, attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), enhancing participation in global value chains, accelerating economic growth, reducing poverty, and increasing shared prosperity. The report discusses the political economy of success and the steps necessary to turn the AfCFTA promise into reality.
The deep integration that the AfCFTA promises would build resilience to shocks and play a critical role in lowering the barriers that currently impede economic growth. The Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area, if fully implemented, would ease the flow of goods, services, and investment across a market of more than 1.3 billion people. Clear rules are expected to foster entrepreneurship and cross-border investment and ensure markets function fairly and efficiently. The resulting jobs and income growth could lift up to 50 million people out of extreme poverty by 2035, recouping some of the damage caused by the COVID19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
One of the key objectives of the AfCFTA is to promote and attain sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development, gender equality and the structural transformation of AfCFTA State Parties. The Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU Assembly), committed to broaden inclusiveness in the operation of the AfCFTA through interventions that support young Africans, women and small and medium size enterprises and subsequently included the Protocol on Women and Youth in Trade within the scope of the AfCFTA Agreement”.