The African continent is about to become the world’s largest free trade area with a market of 1.27 billion consumers, expected to be 1.7 billion consumers in 2030. According to IMF, once fully implemented, the AfCFTA is expected to cover all 55 African countries, with a combined GDP of about US$2.2 trillion. The main goal of AfCFTA is to create a single market for goods and services, facilitated by the movement of persons. In addition to increased trade flows both in existing and new products, the AfCFTA has the potential to generate substantial economic benefits for African countries. These benefits include higher income arising from increased efficiency and productivity from improved resource allocation, higher cross-border investment flows, and technology transfers.
According to Ambassador Albert M. Muchanga, African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry, the African Continental Free Trade Area also offers a huge opportunity to actualize inclusive industrialization and with it, productive transformation, export diversification, improvement of quality infrastructure as well as the adoption of the Made in Africa standard; among others.
While the AfCFTA offers immense opportunities, there are challenges that must be addressed. For instance, if not addressed, non-tariff barriers may slow down this effort. “The success of the AfCFTA depends in part on how well governments can track and remove non-tariff barriers,” said Ambassador Albert Muchanga the African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry. Additionally, Inclusive integration is imperative for the success of AfCFTA. To make this agreement more inclusive, African governments should implement specific national plans to accommodate SMEs, women and youth within the trading system.
A key next step necessary for the successful implementation of the AfCFTA is to ensure countries’ readiness. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that countries define their contextual priorities and have a good understanding of their capacity needs for the effective implementation of the AfCFTA.
You are cordially invited to the fourth session of the virtual four-part Africa CEO Dialogue Series co-hosted by Strathmore University Business School and the Shared Value Africa Initiative. The theme is African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): Making Africa Realise its Business Potential Globally.
The discussion will investigate how Africa can unlock its potential globally through AfCFTA.
Issues to be discussed:
At the same time, we will address the capacity building required and the kind of leadership necessary both at the political level and private sector level to take full advantage of the Agreement.
Date: Thursday, 19th November 2020
Mode of Delivery: Online via Zoom
Africa has specific needs that cannot be addressed from the outside in; there is a real need for African-driven solutions to African problems, and Shared Value is the key. For the innovative, forward-thinking business, real growth opportunities can be found in addressing social challenges.
The Shared Value Africa Initiative aims to bring together businesses and business communities from across Africa with a common purpose: to build the African economy.
Through partnerships with a variety of stakeholder groups, including regional and national corporations, non-profits, multi-and bilateral development agencies, and foundations, the SVAI is busy creating Africa’s most powerful business network.
The CEO Dialogue Team
Date: Thursday, 19 November 2020
2:30 pm – 4:30 pm (EAT)
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm (CAT / SAST)
Mode of Delivery: Online via Zoom