The Free Market Foundation (FMF) and the Initiative for African Trade and Prosperity (IATP) have called on African governments to radically speed up their implementation of pro-trade policy reforms as part of the wider Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) project.
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has indicated that global trade flows will continue their rapid rebound in 2021 and into 2022. According to the WTO, Asia will see the strongest gains in exports. Unfortunately, the trade body foresees that Africa will lose out, and that poorer countries will suffer through the weakest trade recovery. However, there is room to arrest and reverse that prediction – if policymakers implement the necessary, pro-growth, pro-trade and pro-job creation reforms.
“While it is great news that global merchandise trade is above its pre-pandemic peak, once again levels of African trade are suffering,” says Alexander Hammond, director of the Initiative for African Trade and Prosperity. “With the implementation of the AfCFTA at the beginning of this year, African states have a historic opportunity to have a future trading relationship based on free trade, continued trade liberalisation, and greater economic integration. While the AfCFTA could see tens of millions of African lifted from extreme poverty within 14 years, the lengthy timeline for tariff reduction under the agreement is a concern. Read More.