The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) represents a major opportunity for countries to boost growth, reduce poverty, and broaden economic inclusion, a new World Bank report has said. On March 21, 2018 an agreement was signed in Kigali to allow for the acceleration of intra-African trade and boost Africa’s trading position in the global market by strengthening the continent’s common voice. The AfCFTA provides a unique opportunity for signatories to the deal to competitively integrate into the global economy, reduce poverty, and promote inclusion. Although Africa has made substantial progress in recent decades in raising living standards and reducing poverty, increasing trade can provide the impetus for reforms that boost productivity and job creation, and further reduce poverty. World Bank estimates that by 2035, implementing the agreement would contribute to lifting an additional 30 million people (1.5 percent of the continent’s population) from extreme poverty and 68 million people from moderate poverty. Also Read: Micro financing out of poverty Real income gains from full implementation of the agreement could increase by 7 percent, or nearly US$450 billion. As African economies struggle to manage the consequences of COVID-19, AfCFTA can provide an anchor for long-term reform and integration. “AfCFTA would significantly boost African trade, particularly intra-regional trade in manufacturing. By 2035,
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