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IAD Global Africa Monthly Webinar Series

Africa trade
October 5, 2021

African Continental Free Trade Agreement: Promises and Perils

Africa has about 12% of the world’s oil reserves, 42% of its gold, 80%–90% of chromium and platinum group metals, and 60% of arable land in addition to vast timber resources.  The African Continental Free trade Agreement will accelerate intra-African trade and boost Africa’s trading position in the global market by strengthening Africa’s common voice and policy space in global trade negotiations. (African Union)

The general objectives of the agreement are to:

  • create a single market, deepening the economic integration of the continent
  • establish a liberalised market through multiple rounds of negotiations
  • aid the movement of capital and people, facilitating investment
  • move towards the establishment of a future continental customs union
  • achieve sustainable and inclusive socioeconomic development, gender equality and structural transformations within member states
  • enhance competitiveness of member states within Africa and in the global market
  • encourage industrial development through diversification and regional value chain development, agricultural development and food security, and 
  • resolve challenges of multiple and overlapping memberships

Additional Information


  • Development, Law, and Economics
  • Quality of Life


  • International Development