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Africa Trade - AFCFTA - The Exchange -

On 1 January 2021, trade began within the African Continental Free Trade Area (‘AfCFTA’). After years of preparation, and being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AfCFTA becomes the largest free trade area in the world based on the number of participating countries since the World Trade Organization (‘WTO’) was formed and connects some 1.3 billion people across the African continent.

Among many other key developments under the AfCFTA, member states have agreed to remove 90 per cent of tariff lines on non–sensitive products within five years for developing countries and within ten years for least developed countries.

The AfCFTA seeks to provide member states a comprehensive and mutually beneficial trade agreement that aims to boost intra-African trade. As noted by the World Bank, “[a]s the global economy is in turmoil due to the COVID-19 pandemic, creation of the vast AfCFTA regional market serves as a major opportunity to