Talk Africa: Africa’s new trade bloc

The operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area was launched on 7 July.

Heads of State and Government assembled in Niger’s capital, Niamey, for a day-long summit that saw the kick-starting of guiding instruments of the CFTA.

The agreement, ratified by more than half of Africa’s countries and regions, now forms the world’ largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organization.

The formation of Africa’s new trade bloc comes amidst a rising tide of global unilateralism, even as the continent gears up to boost intra-Africa commerce, development and integration.

So is the CFTA the answer in transforming Africa’s trade with itself and the world? And what challenges lie ahead for the continental trade bloc?