Synopsis of Lecture
The African Continental Free Trade Area is an ambitious trade pact to form the world’s largest free trade area by connecting almost 1.3bn people across 54 African countries. To deepen Africa’s economic integration, the accord intends to create a single market for products and services. The trade area’s aggregate gross domestic product might be over $3.4 trillion but reaching its full potential will necessitate considerable policy reforms and trade facilitation measures across African signatory countries.
The AfCFTA intends to lower tariffs between members and encompasses policy areas including trade facilitation and services, as well as regulatory measures like sanitary standards and technological trade obstacles.
The African Union (AU) mediated the agreement, which was signed by 44 of the African Union’s 55 member states in Kigali, Rwanda, on March 21, 2018. Eritrea, which has a mostly closed economy, is the only country that has yet to sign the deal.
41 of the 54 signatories had presented their instruments of ratification with the African Union Commission’s chair as of February 10, 2022, making them state parties to the agreement.
The African Union’s AfCFTA Secretariat oversees overseeing the agreement’s implementation. It is situated in Accra, Ghana, and is overseen by secretary general Wamkele Mene.
Since 1993, the Academy has hosted public forums to examine and highlight a variety of national topics. “African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): Challenges and Prospects” is the theme for this year’s forum. The issue for this year is not only relevant, but also timely, given the terrible economic impact of COVID-19 on several African countries. The event will be hosted at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences from June 6–8, 2022.
The Sub-themes for the days are:
Day 1 – Economic Structure and Intra-African Trade
Day 2 – Political Economy of African Trade
Day 3 – Infrastructure and Intra-African Trade.