Africa: the largest free trade zone in the world

On January 1, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement entered into force. It is a project whose objective is to reinvent the foundations of the continent’s economic growth. No less than 54 countries, comprising more than a billion people, participate in it; This data makes the participating countries make up the largest free trade zone in the world.

“This continental free trade zone is not just a trade agreement; it is in fact an instrument for Africa’s development,” said Wamkele Mene, Executive Director of the secretariat in charge of implementing the agreement. “We must take active measures to dismantle the economic model that we inherited from colonization and that has been maintained for the last 60 years. We must stop being exporters of raw materials,” he said.

Some of the actions contemplated within the agreement are:

  • Elimination of tariffs on 90% of goods that come from other African countries (action that would increase economic productivity by 52% in just two years).
  • Free movement of capital and individuals on a continental scale.

“The African continental free trade zone will fundamentally change the economic game of our continent. I call on our nation’s entrepreneurs to take advantage of the many opportunities offered by this historic result to explore new markets and create new partnerships,” he cried out in networks South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who assures the rotating presidency of the AU.