The African Union and its Member States. The AfCFTA complements existing regional trade agreements in Africa These projects, in collaboration with European, Japanese and Indian partners, could have a considerable impact on economic growth in Africa and on Africa`s expansion as a market for external goods and services. As we are currently presenting, Prosper Africa will be a one-stop shop to enable more trade and investment between U.S. and African companies. The initiative has clear links to the AfCFTA and, if fully implemented and adopted, could benefit both stakeholders. Roberto Echandi is a lead private sector specialist at ETIRI. It focuses on research and policy advice on issues related to cross-border trade in services, negotiation, implementation and maximisation of the potential benefits of deep integration trade agreements and the AfCFTA negotiation and implementation process. The removal of import duties could increase intra-African trade by more than 50 percent, while a reduction in non-tariff barriers will double the volume of trade, notes the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement will create the world`s largest free trade area in terms of the number of participating countries.

The pact associates 1.3 billion people in 55 countries with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) worth $3.4 trillion. It has the potential to lift 30 million people out of extreme poverty, but harnessing its full potential will depend on the implementation of important policy reforms and trade facilitation measures. Yulia Vnukova advises in the Trade and Regional Integration Division (ETIRI) of the World Bank. Based on more than ten years of experience, Yulia`s current work focuses on trade policy and regional integration, with a focus on macroeconomic and microeconomic analysis of trade, trade and sectoral competitiveness, global value chains and private sector development in emerging countries in Europe, in Asia and Africa. In principle, the AfCFTA will put African economies – and African citizens – on a better economic footing. The agreement will improve competitiveness and boost investment, innovation and economic growth by improving efficiency and removing barriers to trade. In fact, it will remove tariffs on 90% of goods and gradually apply them to services, at a time when other parts of the world are reconsidering trade agreements and economic integration. In particular, the elimination of tariffs on goods is expected to increase the value of intra-African trade by 15-25% by 2040.

This would represent a value of between $50 billion and $70 billion. Indeed, Africa will reap even more benefits from trade diversification and value chain development than through a free trade agreement. It seems that most of Africa`s exports are raw materials: agriculture and mineral products, with about 70% of value added outside the continent. . . .