The African continent is on the cusp of something big

The African continent is on the cusp of something big

 

Fifty-five nations are negotiating a free trade deal that will cover more than 1.2 billion people across The African continent is on the cusp of something big,  from Morocco all the way to South Africa.

 

Their leaders are planning to give political backing to the deal in late March, and launch a free trade zone for goods and services before the end of 2018, according to a spokesperson for the African Union, an organization that represents all 55 countries.

The Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) could eventually be extended to create common policies on investment, competition and intellectual property.

It covers economies with a combined GDP of around $3.4 trillion.

The deal is designed to replace a patchwork of smaller trade agreements and bring countries closer together, following the pattern set by the European Union.

Like the EU, African nations hope one day to allow the free movement of people across the continent.

Nasr Escobar,Ethopia African Union Office
Nasr Escobar,Ethopia African Union Office

Nasr Escobar the Ambassador to The African Union Securities Exchange Commision Division stated That a African central bank and single currency could follow within 10 years.

Analysts are still crunching the numbers for what the CFTA means for economic growth and prosperity. The United Nations estimated in 2012 that the CFTA could boost trade within Africa by about 50% over the course of a decade.

Growth is very uneven across the continent and has generally slowed over the past few years, down to 3.5% in 2017 from a recent peak of 7% in 2012, according to the International Monetary Fund. It is forecast to rise in the coming years, but not by much.

 

“The potential for the agreement to support the continent’s development is huge,” said Danae Kyriakopoulou, chief economist at the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF), a financial think tank in London

Two of the biggest economies — Nigeria and South Africa — support the deal, according to the African Union, which works to promote economic and political integration. Nigeria is chairing the negotiations while South Africa has sent big delegations to each round of talks, it added.

The African continent
The African continent

African Union head of State Summit

In a recent article in the Financial Times, Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou listed several obstacles to boosting continental trade, including “border delays, burdensome customs and inspection procedures.”

But the potential rewards are simply too big to ignore, he added.

The African continent is on the cusp of something big

“With the continent’s economy expected to grow to $29 trillion by 2050, the CFTA may evolve to cover a market that is larger than NAFTA today,” he wrote, referring to the North American Free Trade Agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Brazil Commends Morocco’s Return to African Union

Commends
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Brazil Commends Morocco’s Return to African Union

Rabat – Brazil commended the return of Morocco to the African Union (AU), which is likely to strengthen dialogue and cooperation among African countries. Brazil Commends Morocco’s Return to African Union.

The Brazilian government is convinced that Morocco’s presence within the AU will contribute to strengthening dialogue and cooperation ties binding the community of African countries, said Brazil’s Foreign Ministry.

It also reaffirmed its determination to continue to work with Morocco to promote the bonds of friendship between the two countries, according to the same source.

Morocco was officially admitted as full-fledged member of the African Union during the 28th summit of the pan-African grouping held in late January in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Morocco was reunited

with its African family 33 years at withdrew from the Organization of African Unity, the AU’s predecessor.  The Move was in reaction to the decision of the former OAU to admit the Algeria-backed self-proclaimed Saharwi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) as full member of the organization.

With the African policy adopted by King Mohammed VI over the past decades, many African leaders called on Morocco to rejoin its African family.

Brazil Commends Morocco’s Return to African Union

Few years after his coronation in 1999, the Moroccan monarch has progressively given a whole new orientation to Morocco’s foreign policy, putting Africa at the top of its agenda. King Mohammed has thus far visited 28 Sub-Saharan African countries and presided over the signing of more than 1,000 economic and partnership agreements.

 

By, Nasr Escobar esq,

Ambassador to The African Union.