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Economic Development in Africa Report 2019

Made in Africa – Rules of Origin for Enhanced Intra-African Trade

image of Economic Development in Africa Report 2019

The advent of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) represents a historic opportunity for the continent to boost intra-African trade and accelerate structural transformation. However, this relies on a critical policy instrument: the effective implementation of preferential trade liberalization among the AfCFTA members. Whether in practice African firms will utilize tariff preferences under the AfCFTA depends on a critical factor: rules of origin (RoO) and the net benefits of complying with them. The Economic Development in Africa Report 2019 argues for the adoption of flexible RoO and a strengthening of institutional capacities to ensure an impartial, transparent, predictable, consistent and neutral implementation of agreed RoO.

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Foreword

The African Continental Free Trade Area is a landmark achievement, in the context of the continent’s long and rich history, in fostering regional integration to unify the continent. The African Continental Free Trade Area will lead to the creation of a single continental market of more than 1.3 billion people, with a combined annual output of $2.2 trillion. The transition phase to the Continental Free Trade Area alone could generate welfare gains of $16.1 billion and boost intra-African trade by 33 per cent.

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