African trade accord has huge potential but history of past failures weighs heavily

27 June 2021 - 00:00 By Peter Fabricius

Trading through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) was officially launched with considerable fanfare on January 1 for the 81% of goods for which rules of origin had been agreed - and between those countries that had mutually determined tariff concessions.

Ambitions for the trade accord are large. At the extraordinary African Union (AU) summit in December 2020, Wamkele Mene, secretary-general of the AfCFTA, characterised it as a tool "for effecting a fundamental structural transformation of Africa's economy and placing Africa on a path of long-term industrial development". This would dismantle the existing "colonial" economic model of overreliance on the export of primary commodities to traditional markets of the North...

This article is reserved for Sunday Times subscribers.

A subscription gives you full digital access to all Sunday Times content.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Registered on the BusinessLIVE, Business Day or Financial Mail websites? Sign in with the same details.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.