3cf9adf2-africas-free-trade-agreement-curse-or-blessingIn his 2020 budget speech, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said South Africa is opening its market to trade with the rest of Africa to promote regional integration and contribute to economic growth. Mboweni said this will be done through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which South Africa signed up to last year.

The AfCFTA is a trade agreement among African countries that aims to create a single continental market through which goods and services would freely move. This deal is forecast to generate a gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.5-trillion and would encompass a market of 1.27-billion people. The free movement of goods will be achieved by promoting intra-Africa trade and lowering tariffs.

The AfCFTA will be the world’s largest free-trade area by number of countries since the formation of the World Trade Organisation. At the Black Business summit on Wednesday, AfCFTA secretary general Wamkele Mene, said the negotiators would have completed everything by the July deadline for the trade area to come into force…..more