Implementation of free trade area to raise intra-African trade by 15 per cent

ADDIS ABABA (Xinhua) – The implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is expected to raise intra-African trade by 15 per cent, an African Development Bank (AfDB) official said last Saturday.

The implementation of AfCFTA would result in a net gain of USD2.8 billion in real income for Africans, Hanan Morsy, director of the AfDB’s macroeconomic policy department, told Xinhua in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

African countries can help in the implementation of AfCFTA through domestic legislations that eliminate bilateral trade tariffs, by removing non-trade barriers on goods and services, opening their skies to African airlines and allowing free movement of people across borders.

On Thursday, the African Union said six more member states are expected to deposit ratifications of the AfCFTA, bringing the number of ratifications to 17.

The AU said a total of 22 ratifications are needed for AfCFTA to come into force, helping establish the largest free trade area in the world in recent years.