[Africa CEO Forum] What are the opportunities that AfCFTA brings for business?
10-07-2019 07:29:00 | by: Bas Vlugt | hits: 5021 | Tags:

We regularly ask key players for their opinion on current developments in African business and politics.

This time the question is about the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement by the members of the African Union, which took 17 years of negotiations.

 

What are the opportunities that AfCFTA brings for business?

 

  • What does AfCFTA mean for Africa and the World Economy?
  • What does AfCFTA mean for African Countries and Industries?
  • What does AfCFTA mean for Your Business?


Send your contribution to this forum to Bas Vlugt, founder of Africa Business Communities: bas@africabusinesscommunities.com

 

Bob Koigi, East Africa Region Chief Editor at Africa Business Communities: "In its May report, the International Monetary Fund, IMF, hailed the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, as an economic game changer akin to those that have previously bolstered growth in North America and Europe.

Days after becoming operational, the continental free trade pact is already exciting markets and investors with the promise of a combined population of more than 1.2 billion people, a cumulative GDP of $3 trillion and total consumer and business spending of over $4 trillion.

As it seeks to address the fundamental question of removing trade barriers and tariffs, with member countries agreeing to remove tax on an estimated 90 per cent of 200 items that are traded in the continent, the free trade area that has been billed the largest world-over after the World Trade Organization, is poised to boost Africa’s competitiveness globally and has fortified efforts of making Africa a primary destination for global investors... read the full contribution of Bob here

Saadi Arezki, management consultant: "The African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, would’ve been indeed a real economic game changer as mentioned in your post within LinkedIn...  If and only if it was supported by an African Transport and Logistics Sector, a sector that remains the  BACKBONE of every single economy, boosting national activities and filling a strong leverage effect on the GDP, ensuring an efficient integration of national activities, strengthening each country and enabling its efficient integration into the region it belongs to, strengthening every region and enabling  each region to be integrated into neighbouring regions, up to the integration of the whole continent.

This African Transport and Logistics Sector would boost every country’s national production, processing and conditioning and trading.

Unfortunately, Africa is missing infrastructures and logistic operators. Its international commerce is under total dependence on foreign carriers and foreign operators are controlling large strategic infrastructures such as ports, and rail networks.

You may compare the freight costs for a single 40' Container shipped from Shanghai to:

•    Abidjan, or Bamako, or any other East, North or West African port
•    Any secondary North European port

Then the same comparison on the other way.

You will be surprised at the huge gap between both areas, showing the tremendous extra financial cost that our continent has being undergoing.
We are missing a strategic step at making the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, a reality for our continent. Such set up could be achieved within shortest delay. We may gather our efforts and make it happen, provided decision makers are ready to consider.”