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Everywhere it has been implemented throughout the globe, industrialization has lifted people out of extreme poverty, extended life expectancies, raised literacy rates, and improved living conditions.
Finally, it is Africa’s turn.
Proposed by Rwandan President Paul Kagame in March 2018, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will boost intra-African trade by immediately removing all tariffs on 90% of goods with the remaining 10% ‘sensitive goods’ set to be phased out in the future. Since its proposal, 52 of the 55 AU members have endorsed the free trade area.
The United Nations Economic Commission on Africa estimates AfCFTA could increase trade on the continent by over 52% by 2022, and once the final 10% of tariffs are lifted, this number could double once again.
The increased stability in the nations’ economies will attract investors and allow for the growth of more small and medium enterprises.
By increasing the intra-continental trade of manufactured goods, the AfCFTA has the potential to be truly revolutionary for all of Africa.