Policy seminar: Prospects for the African Continental Free Trade Area
BY TIMOTHY KAROFF
On Jan. 1, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) formally took effect. The AfCFTA’s 55 countries make it one of largest free trade areas in the world, and it could increase the continent’s total real income by $445 billion by 2035, according to a World Bank estimate.
However, whether countries reap these benefits depends on how the agreement is implemented. In a Dec. 15 IFPRI virtual policy seminar, experts discussed the challenges and opportunities as January approaches. “It is… important to ensure that our governments put in place significant policy reforms and trade facilitation measures in order to ensure that this agreement achieves its full potential,” said Nalishebo Meebelo, Senior Program Coordinator at the Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research and Institutes (ReNAPRI).