A milestone for African trade
On 1 January 2021, the go-ahead was given for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). It offers huge opportunities for the continent and raises hopes that many trade barriers will gradually come down. The agreement comes into force at a time when much of the world is turning its back on cooperation and free trade. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the global economy is in a lurch between stagnation and recession. For Africa, the creation of the massive regional AfCFTA market is a great opportunity: it should help countries diversify their exports, accelerate growth and attract foreign direct investment.