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Trade in Africa for Africa: The AfCFTA Reality

Trade in Africa for Africa: The AfCFTA Reality

Africa is abuzz with possibilities following the commencement of trading within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on January 1, 2021. AfCTA creates a single market for goods and services to increase trading among African nations. The excitement generated by AfCFTA crystallizes Africa’s dream to exploit its full potential in trade as one bloc for the progress of its economies, enterprises, and livelihoods.

The African story has often been marred by stories of war, disease, political instability, and corruption. It these stories, by and large, that have led to the continent being derogatively referred to as the dark continent or a 3rd world economy. This perception has been furthered by African countries over relying on or begging for aid in cash or kind from the West for its economic survival and to feed its population. On the flip side, humanitarian aid to Africa persists as an oxymoron considering that Africa is spread over a wealth of natural resources whose raw materials fuel most of the world economies. With 65% of Africa comprising of uncultivated arable land, it is puzzling that Africa is a net importer of food and of agricultural products, despite this agricultural potential. (more…)