Assessing Regional Integration in Africa V

Towards an African Continental Free Trade Area

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This publication comes at a time of renewed enthusiasm for shortening the period of the vision of the Abuja Treaty. The publication’s overall objective is to provide analytical research that defines frameworks for African governments, the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities, towards accelerating the establishment of the African Common Market through: the speedy removal of all tariff and non-tariff barriers, obstacles to free movement of people, investments and factors of production in general across Africa, and through fast-tracking the creation of an African continental Free Trade Area.



The theory of free trade areas: The case for an African continental free trade area

This chapter focuses on the theoretical gains and losses to Africa from FTAs in general and the CFTA in particular. The standard theory of regional integration posits that integration can take several forms, depending on the levels of political and economic commitment of member countries. Crucially, these arrangements can move beyond a mere tariff-reducing exercise to a more ambitious form of economic integration, with provisions for common monetary and fiscal policy. The theory outlines a menu of integration options, where regional integration deepens asrestrictions on trade and investment diminish (table 3.1).


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