Pan-African free trade deal almost finalized

Pan-African Free Trade Deal comes into force

Africa is about to become the world’s largest free trade zone after it has decided to open a free trade agreement deal across the region. This trade agreement currently has 44 of the 55 African countries:

Countries that have yet to sign the agreement are:

Benin, Botswana, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, and Zambia

In order for the free trade zone to go into effect, 22 of the 55 countries must submit instruments of ratification. Currently they have 19 of the 22 on board. This trade agreement is looking to have a major impact in a positive way for their economy.

As stated in the article written by the American Journal of Transportation, “Trade between African countries is at 15%, compared with 20% in Latin America and 58% in Asia, according to the African Export-Import Bank. This could increase by 52% by 2022 and can more than double within the first decade after implementing the deal, the Cairo-based lender said in a report last year.”  The article also mentions some findings from a report by Jakkie Cilliers, which indicate that this deal will help move the region away from exporting commodities into a state of building manufacturing capacities and industrializing as a region.

The biggest hurdle still to face is getting Nigeria on board. Nigeria ties South Africa for the biggest economy in Africa but has yet to sign up for the agreement.