Assessing Regional Integration in Africa VIII

Bringing the Continental Free Trade Area About

image of Assessing Regional Integration in Africa VIII

The African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) promises to give a significant boost to the continent’s economy and, in particular, to support industrialization and structural transformation. In this context, the 8th edition of Assessing Regional Integration in Africa (ARIA VIII) looks at what will be needed to ensure that the CFTA is implemented and that iintra-African trade plays a more dynamic role in contributing to economic transformation in Africa. Drawing on political economy analysis, the report analyses what kind of institutional set-up will be needed to ensure the CFTA’s implementation as well as the capacity development needs at the national, regional economic community and continental levels. The report also provides an update on the expected benefits of the CFTA’s implementation, as well as the usual chapter on the status of regional integration in Africa.



The CFTA in a changing trade landscape

The Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) is being negotiated in an evolving trade landscape. The multilateral trading system is in crisis after the failure of the Doha Round and populist anti-globalization sentiments in several large trading nations. The rapid rise of emerging market economies has caused a fundamental shift in the trade patterns of many African countries. The controversies surrounding the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and Brexit require new thinking on restructuring trade relations with Europe. Africa’s trading relationship with the United States, having developed under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), is likely to transform into reciprocal arrangements by 2025 in a post- AGOA agenda. The so-called “mega-regional” trade agreements that once threatened Africa’s preferential trade with established partners, now have evolved into a different threat of protectionism. Finally, new modes of trade such as e-commerce are putting pressure on demands for new trade rules.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error