The ‘Commonwealth Advantage’ in propelling AfCFTA success

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AfCFTA facilitates better access to trade across the continent for all Commonwealth citizens in member states; being one of world’s largest trading blocs. During her visit to Kenya in 2018, SG Scotland noted that, “AfCFTA gives the perfect platform to facilitate trade across the Commonwealth. Nineteen members of the AU are part of the Commonwealth family, the protocol is groundbreaking news because research shows, that when Commonwealth countries trade with each other, its 19 per cent cheaper and this is the Commonwealth Advantage.”

The combined GDP of Commonwealth countries, with a total population of over 2.4B, is now around $13 trillion and is estimated to reach $19.5 trillion in 2027. “With intra-Commonwealth trade expected to surpass $700 billion in 2022, and Commonwealth countries comprising a number of free trade zones including the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the Commonwealth Business Forum, provided a valuable opportunity to capitalize on global opportunities, for economic growth and social development.” The CEO of Trust Stamp, Gareth Genner who was one of the key guests at the 2022 CHOGM Business Forum, observed.

Earlier in the year, during the AfCFTA’s Secretary General Wamkele Mene's visit to London, the UK launched a programme to support the implementation of AfCFTA; where the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), pledged to provide up to £35m to provide trade facilitation and trade policy support to the AfCFTA Secretariat and Member States, through Trademark East Africa (TMEA), Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and other regional partners.

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