In a time where industrialised countries set the path for everybody to follow, no country can afford to live on their own rhythm. If they do, they would be missing out on plenty of opportunities that globalized economy offers. Therefore opening to the rest of the world is becoming more and more necessary and that is something that African countries are very much aware of. It is with this in mind that 49 out of the 55 African countries signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The ambitious goal of that big project is to create an unique continental marketplace for goods and services. It should ensure a free movement for business men and investments, an absolute necessity in economic integration. At the moment, negotiations are still in progress and once at least 22 countries ratify the agreement, the AfCFTA will come into effect which will allow the African continent to potentially become the largest trade bloc in the world.

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA): opportunities vs challenges

The expected benefits are as big as the challenges that come with it. Needless to say that intra-African trade will help consolidate Africa’s ability to trade. The acquired experience will then allow to grow ones market share on a global scale. However, Africa should put all its focus on reinforcing its abilities and its cultural change to become a key competitor on an international level. Having a continent with a free trade zone is a very important step toward having locally and internationally collective empowerment of worker competitiveness and African products. Additionally,  non-tariff barriers represent an obstacle to intra-African trade. That could slow down the Intra-African trade if there is no political commitment willing to put an end to it.

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA): an unemployment booster in Africa

Right now, trades between African States only represent 17% of trades from the whole continent. Yet an intra-African trade, among other advantages, represent a major source of job creation in Africa. Investors looking to make profit cannot do so without having qualified human resources, able to make their projects become a reality. It is about supporting the ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) so talented young Africans have a opportunity to put their skills into use for the sake of the continent.

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