Browsing: Free Trade Africa

  • It is now almost a year since the AfCFTA was operationalised in July 2021
  • There are concerns over the free movement of people to more developed countries
  • In Africa, the sustainability of SMEs faces competition due to policy influence by the rich few

Second only to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in terms of participating countries, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is the largest single market ever created in the world.

It is now almost a year since the AfCFTA was operationalised in July 2021 and the ambitious trade union is starting to bear fruit. Over the next few years, the AfCFTA is expected to amass a combined gross domestic product of around US$3.4 trillion for the continent.

With 54 African countries on board, the AfCFTA connects almost 1.3 billion people building an unprecedented economic integration. In fact with the exception of Eritrea, all African countries have …

Most economists see structural transformation as one of the main routes to Africa’s sustainable development. What it means is changing the share of agriculture, manufacturing and services in an economy. It is a central aim of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

With this aim in mind, economists and policymakers need to know what determines structural transformation. They have flagged factors like demand for goods and services, trade policies, financial development, institutional quality and economic integration.

But researchers haven’t closely examined the way economic integration through trade and finance influences structural transformation.

I therefore set out to study African countries’ integration with the rest of the world and the effect of that integration on their structural transformation. This study provides fresh evidence about whether integration is good for Africa. It also unearths the right levels of integration necessary to increase structural transformation.

Trade and financial integration are both about countries exporting …