As the well-revered Pan Africanist, Kwame Nkrumah once said, “Unity must be the keynote for our actions” - it seems that the Continent is taking a step towards unity through a free trade area that will harness the strengths of African economies.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a free trade area founded in 2018, with trade commencing as of 1 January 2021. It was created by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement among 54 of the 55 African Union nations.The agreement initially requires members to remove tariffs from 90% of goods, allowing free access to commodities, goods, and services across the continent. This is in an effort to increase intra- African trade as in 2019 14.4 percent of official African exports went to other African countries, compared to 52 percent in intra-Asian trade and 73 percent between European nations in the same year. The free-trade area is the largest in the world in terms of the number of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organization.

The general objectives of the agreement are to:

  • create a single market, deepening the economic integration of the continent