The agreement signed and entered into force on 1 January 2021 and that in fact starts AfCFTA or The African Continental Free Trade Treaty, (in English African Continental Free Trade Agreement, abbreviated AfCFTA is an international treaty regulating the opening of borders and the creation of a free trade area between African member countries.
As of July 2019, there were 54 signatories. The only African state that has neither signed nor ratified the agreement is theEritrea.
The treaty provides for zero tariffs on 90 per cent of goods crossing the borders of signatory states. Also included are the serviceswhich is crucial since they accounted for 53 per cent of the continent's GDP in 2017, says the United nations economic commission for Africa (Uneca). In this transitional phase, duties will only remain in place on a limited number of economic sectors deemed particularly sensitive to national interests.
Given that such a radical change cannot happen overnight, there is a five-year buffer period, which can be extended by the most fragile economies. As theIspi (Institute for International Policy Studies), this is the first step of:
"a longer journey which provides as subsequent stages, in the not yet near future, the customs and monetary union'.
The basic idea behind the free trade area is to lay the foundations for African countries to start creating added value, i.e. to process the raw materials they are rich in, to equip themselves with processing facilities for agricultural products, for example.
And all this will lead to greater prosperity and create millions of jobs. The free trade area has the power to trigger this process. This is a long process, which will not be over in a short time and which will have to be accompanied by infrastructure and implementation of what is currently only on paper.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) estimated that, by 2022, the agreement would increase the
"AfCFTA should work as it is the only route of the continent towards development sustainable. Let us not underestimate the importance of this initiative. There is no plan B'
- stated David Luke during a webinar.
This treaty will create millions of new jobs in Africa
So trade on the African continent opens up a market of 1.2 billion people worth USD 2.5 trillion GDP and soon with investments by foreign investors could turn into and become 4,000.
The goal of this huge project that has just begun is ambitious: the creation of millions of new jobs that would benefit young people and women.
Listen to the interesting interview with Professor Gianfranco Tusset, Professor of History of the University of Padua on the opportunities generated by market opening only African.
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Watch this video to better understand what we are talking about.
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