Africa to achieve US$8 trillion  economy  through AfCFTA African Continental Free Trade Area

Sikhulekelani Moyo, [email protected]

THE African continent through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has an opportunity to outpace the global average of 2,7 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate making it a vibrant and attractive investment environment, Global Africa Business Initiative (GABI) has said.

GABI is the leading platform for promoting investment opportunities and business growth across Africa and the world.

The AfCFTA is a flagship project of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, which aims to boost intra-African trade by providing a comprehensive and mutually beneficial trade agreement among the member states, covering trade in goods and services, investment, intellectual property rights, and competition policy.

Under the agreement, Africa expects the AfCFTA implementation to increase the mobility of the continent’s people, goods and services with attendant necessities for institutions to harmonise and integrate much of its operational systems, regulations, and mechanisms.

Estimates indicate the AfCFTA could boost the continental economy from about US$3 trillion (2020) to about US$8 trillion by 2030.

Added to that, with the continent’s growing population, AfCFTA is envisaged to be the largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organisation given Africa’s current population of 1,3 billion people, which is expected to grow to 2,5 billion by 2050.In a webinar organised for journalists from different countries this week, the organization said with a market potential of US$3 trillion, Africa presents enormous business, trade, and investment opportunities.

“The region’s GDP growth at four percent, expected to outpace the global average of 2,7 percent, is indicative of the continent’s robust economic momentum.

“Moreover, FDI into the region surged to US$97 billion in 2021 before moderating to US$45 billion in 2022, but still reflects a substantial increase from the US$39 billion recorded in 2020, underscoring a vibrant and attractive investment environment,” said GABI.

“These unique attributes underscore the vast potential and innovative spirit that characterise Africa’s present and future economy.”

The organisation said leveraging 60 percent of the world’s uncultivated arable land and housing the youngest population globally, with 60 percent under the age of 25, the continent is poised for dynamic growth and expansion.

“GABI provides the perfect platform to explore and invest in these opportunities, laying the groundwork for a prosperous future in Africa and worldwide.”

During the webinar, assistant secretary general and CEO of the United Nations Global Compact Ms Sanda Ojiambo said for Africa to fully benefit from AfCFTA, there is a need to invest in infrastructure development, innovation and access to finance by both small enterprises and large corporates. — @SikhulekelaniM1

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