The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was created by the fifty-five member states of the African Union (AU), the purpose to establish a single continent-wide market for goods and services. It also promotes the movement of capital and natural resources. The agreement is estimated to be as large as 1.3 billion people across the continent, with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of about $3.4 trillion. According to the World Bank, the agreement has the potential to lift up to 30 million Africans out of poverty.
According to Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Africa is ready to start trading on over 81 per cent of products. The formal go-ahead for trading was given in December 2020 to begin this year. Regional communities such as East African Community (EAC), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and South African Development Community (SADC) were created to achieve these goals, but the AfCFTA is set to bring all these efforts together.
As a result, the National Action Committee on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has commenced a nationwide awareness and sensitization tour. This move is to prepare the country take advantage of the AFCFTA agreement. The tour would begin in Kaduna State to Bauchi State, before moving to the Federal Capital Territory and all the other states in Nigeria. According to the Secretary, the National Action Committee on AfCFTA, Francis Anatogu, stated that the strategy is to work with states based on their area of comparative advantage.
It is expected to boost intra-African trade, promote industrialization, create jobs, and improve competitiveness of African industries on the global stage. In addition, it aims to promote agricultural transformation in Africa, contributing to food security.