The signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) couldn’t have come at a better time for the continent. Globally, the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (EU) stumbles along with growing acrimony while United States (US) and Chinese policymakers struggle to find common ground, and common interest.

The collective effort required to get 54 of 55 African countries to sign the AfCFTA, particularly on a continent divided by disparate political agendas, short-termism and sporadic diplomatic stand-offs, shouldn’t be underestimated.

While the agreement is lauded as an African solution to African problems, it is worth remembering the pitfalls of those who’ve travelled a similar journey to avoid the same mistakes. This is even more important as trade agreements worldwide show signs of unravelling…..more