A Sceptic's Guide to the Continental Free Trade AreaPart of the African Arguments series
From freedom of movement to customs-free commerce, two experts show how the AfCFTA could transform African economies and societies.
The African Continental Free Trade Area, established in 2018, represented a monumental step forward for Africa in terms of meeting longstanding aspirations for greater economic and political integration. But it has nonetheless been met with scepticism in some quarters, both within the continent and beyond.
Borderless Africa makes the case for the AfCFTA in an accessible and compelling way, without shying away from technical and academic debates. Francis Mangeni and Andrew Mold take us on a journey through the different dimensions and implications of the AfCFTA, the largest free-trade zone in the world, starting with its underlying economic rationale. Pointing to the numerous historical examples of successful regional integration, they argue that the African continent will need to take on board such lessons as the agreement is implemented. They discuss, too, the more controversial elements of the AfCFTA, including the freedom of movement protocol, contending that this should not be seen as an optional extra, but as an intrinsic part of the accord.
Also exploring the role of external partners in the construction of an economically stronger, more united Africa, this fascinating study reveals how the AfCFTA is contributing to sustainable development across the continent.
‘Borderless Africa unpacks data on intra-African trade to reveal that this under-researched subject holds the clue to understanding the changing trajectory of development in Africa.’ — LSE Review of Books, ‘Recommended Reads for Understanding the Economy Today’
Francis Mangeni is the Coordinator of Regional Advisors on the African Continental Free Trade Area, and former COMESA director of trade, customs and monetary affairs.
Andrew Mold is Senior Economist at the UN Economic Commission for Africa, and has worked at the UN in Chile, Costa Rica, Ethiopia and Rwanda.