African Continental Free Trade Area Needs an Action Plan to Advance Transformative Industrialisation


The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) aims to facilitate industrialisation and create a single market for goods and services in Africa. The movement towards broadening regional integration partially through value chains and a free trade area is in line with the path emerging economies have undertaken in the past 10 years.

On 1 January 2021, Africa officially started trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area, taking a giant step towards fostering regional integration in Africa. Strides have been taken by heads of state, policymakers, trade negotiators across the continent and the AfCFTA Secretariat to get the continent to this historic juncture. Of the 55 heads of state, 54 have signed the agreement’s consolidated text establishing the AfCFTA, and 36 have deposited their instrument of ratification. This means 36 sovereign states have given their consent to be bound by the agreement. Therefore, as state parties to the agreement, they accept and will implement the obligations agreed upon.

Implementation of the AfCFTA is under way, yet more action is needed to transform policy into action. AfCFTA Secretary-General HE Wamkele Mene shared these sentiments during the fourth instalment of the AfCFTA and Transformative Industrialisation webinar series hosted by University of Cape…



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