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African Continent-Wide Free Trade Bloc Opens

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Kowani
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African Continent-Wide Free Trade Bloc Opens

Postby Kowani » Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:01 am

Source 1
Source 2

JOHANNESBURG - African countries began officially trading under a new continent-wide free trade area on Friday, after months of delays caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.

But experts view the New Year's Day launch as largely symbolic with full implementation of the deal expected to take years.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) aims to bring together 1.3 billion people in a $3.4 trillion economic bloc that will be the largest free trade area since the establishment of the World Trade Organization.

Backers say it will boost trade among African neighbours while allowing the continent to develop its own value chains. The World Bank estimates it could lift tens of millions out of poverty by 2035.

But obstacles - ranging from ubiquitous red tape and poor infrastructure to the entrenched protectionism of some of its members - must be overcome if the bloc is to reach its full potential.

Trade under the AfCFTA was meant to be launched on July 1 but was pushed back after COVID-19 made in-person negotiations impossible.

However, the pandemic also gave the process added impetus, said Silver Ojakol, chief of staff at the AfCFTA's secretariat.

"We saw the impact on our economies of the disruption of imports due to the pandemic," he said. "So there's actually been an increase in political will to boost intra-African integration."

Every African country except Eritrea has signed on to the AfCFTA framework agreement, and 34 have ratified it. But observers such as W. Gyude Moore - a former Liberian minister who is now a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development - say the real work begins now.

"I would be surprised if they can have everything set up within 24 months," he told Reuters. "For long-term success, I think we'll need to look at how long it took Europe. This is a multi-decade process."
'WE MUST START SOMEWHERE'
Historic challenges including Africa's poor road and rail links, political unrest, excessive border bureaucracy and petty corruption will not disappear overnight.

And an annex to the deal outlining the rules of origin - an essential step for determining which products can be subject to tariffs and duties - has not been completed yet.

Meanwhile, 41 of the zone's 54 member states have submitted tariff reduction schedules.

Members must phase out 90% of tariff lines - over five years for more advanced economies or 10 years for less developed nations. Another 7% considered sensitive will get more time, while 3% will be allowed to be placed on an exclusion list.

Finalising those schedules and communicating them to businesses must be done quickly, said Ziad Hamoui of Borderless Alliance, a group that campaigns for easier cross-border trade.

But efforts to implement the deal will also likely face resistance from countries' domestic interest groups. Fears of losing out to more competitive neighbours initially made some countries, including West African giant Nigeria, sceptical of the pan-African project.

Still, proponents of the zone are confident that initial steps towards its implementation will already allow member states to double intra-African trade by 2025.

"Economic integration is not an event. It's a process aid the AfCFTA secretariat's Ojakol. "We must start somewhere."


The first goods will begin to flow under an Africa-wide free-trade pact on Friday, the culmination of more than five years of negotiations on cutting cross-border tariffs. The accord comes to fruition at a time when trade tensions are rising across much of the rest of the world. The 55-nation Africa Union marked the occasion in a ceremony that came just hours after the U.K. left the European Union’s single market and a new post-Brexit trade agreement entered into force.

It’s “a day in which we take Africa a step closer to a vision of an integrated Africa, a vision of an integrated market on the African continent,” Wamkele Mene, the secretary general of the African Continental Free Trade Area, said during the event. The treaty seeks to lower or eliminate cross-border tariffs on most goods, facilitate the movement of capital and people, promote investment and pave the way for a continent-wide customs union. The bloc has a potential market of 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion, and could be the world’s biggest free-trade zone by area when the treaty becomes fully operational by 2030.

The accord will assist the continent to recover from the “devastating impact” of the coronavirus pandemic, said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who holds the AU’s rotating chairmanship.

Intra-African trade fell to 14.5% of the total in 2019, from 15% the year before. The free-trade pact could bolster the proportion to 22%, and commerce within the continent could rise to more than $231 billion even if all other conditions remained unchanged, the African Export-Import Bank said in report published on Dec. 15. Internal shipments accounted for 52% of total trade in Asia and 72% in Europe, according to Afreximbank data.

All but one of the 55 nations recognized by the African Union have signed to join the area and more than half have ratified the accord. Eritrea, which has a largely closed economy, is the sole holdout.

The pact will help Africa to industrialize on a big scale, said President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, the host country of the bloc’s secretariat.

All outstanding issues relating to the bloc’s various operation instruments, such as an online platform for tariff negotiations and a digital payment and settlement system, would be finalized and made operational by the end of March, Akufo-Addo said.



It's interesting, to me, to see how while the rest of the world is running screaming away from free trade, Africa is embracing it.
But, NSG, will this just be another failed experiment in globalization? Or will it bring much needed-prosperity to some of the most impoverished parts of the world?
Last edited by Kowani on Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Nekostan-e Gharbi » Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:06 am

Kowani wrote:Source 1
Source 2

JOHANNESBURG - African countries began officially trading under a new continent-wide free trade area on Friday, after months of delays caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.

But experts view the New Year's Day launch as largely symbolic with full implementation of the deal expected to take years.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) aims to bring together 1.3 billion people in a $3.4 trillion economic bloc that will be the largest free trade area since the establishment of the World Trade Organization.

Backers say it will boost trade among African neighbours while allowing the continent to develop its own value chains. The World Bank estimates it could lift tens of millions out of poverty by 2035.

But obstacles - ranging from ubiquitous red tape and poor infrastructure to the entrenched protectionism of some of its members - must be overcome if the bloc is to reach its full potential.

Trade under the AfCFTA was meant to be launched on July 1 but was pushed back after COVID-19 made in-person negotiations impossible.

However, the pandemic also gave the process added impetus, said Silver Ojakol, chief of staff at the AfCFTA's secretariat.

"We saw the impact on our economies of the disruption of imports due to the pandemic," he said. "So there's actually been an increase in political will to boost intra-African integration."

Every African country except Eritrea has signed on to the AfCFTA framework agreement, and 34 have ratified it. But observers such as W. Gyude Moore - a former Liberian minister who is now a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development - say the real work begins now.

"I would be surprised if they can have everything set up within 24 months," he told Reuters. "For long-term success, I think we'll need to look at how long it took Europe. This is a multi-decade process."
'WE MUST START SOMEWHERE'
Historic challenges including Africa's poor road and rail links, political unrest, excessive border bureaucracy and petty corruption will not disappear overnight.

And an annex to the deal outlining the rules of origin - an essential step for determining which products can be subject to tariffs and duties - has not been completed yet.

Meanwhile, 41 of the zone's 54 member states have submitted tariff reduction schedules.

Members must phase out 90% of tariff lines - over five years for more advanced economies or 10 years for less developed nations. Another 7% considered sensitive will get more time, while 3% will be allowed to be placed on an exclusion list.

Finalising those schedules and communicating them to businesses must be done quickly, said Ziad Hamoui of Borderless Alliance, a group that campaigns for easier cross-border trade.

But efforts to implement the deal will also likely face resistance from countries' domestic interest groups. Fears of losing out to more competitive neighbours initially made some countries, including West African giant Nigeria, sceptical of the pan-African project.

Still, proponents of the zone are confident that initial steps towards its implementation will already allow member states to double intra-African trade by 2025.

"Economic integration is not an event. It's a process aid the AfCFTA secretariat's Ojakol. "We must start somewhere."


The first goods will begin to flow under an Africa-wide free-trade pact on Friday, the culmination of more than five years of negotiations on cutting cross-border tariffs. The accord comes to fruition at a time when trade tensions are rising across much of the rest of the world. The 55-nation Africa Union marked the occasion in a ceremony that came just hours after the U.K. left the European Union’s single market and a new post-Brexit trade agreement entered into force.

It’s “a day in which we take Africa a step closer to a vision of an integrated Africa, a vision of an integrated market on the African continent,” Wamkele Mene, the secretary general of the African Continental Free Trade Area, said during the event. The treaty seeks to lower or eliminate cross-border tariffs on most goods, facilitate the movement of capital and people, promote investment and pave the way for a continent-wide customs union. The bloc has a potential market of 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion, and could be the world’s biggest free-trade zone by area when the treaty becomes fully operational by 2030.

The accord will assist the continent to recover from the “devastating impact” of the coronavirus pandemic, said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who holds the AU’s rotating chairmanship.

Intra-African trade fell to 14.5% of the total in 2019, from 15% the year before. The free-trade pact could bolster the proportion to 22%, and commerce within the continent could rise to more than $231 billion even if all other conditions remained unchanged, the African Export-Import Bank said in report published on Dec. 15. Internal shipments accounted for 52% of total trade in Asia and 72% in Europe, according to Afreximbank data.

All but one of the 55 nations recognized by the African Union have signed to join the area and more than half have ratified the accord. Eritrea, which has a largely closed economy, is the sole holdout.

The pact will help Africa to industrialize on a big scale, said President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, the host country of the bloc’s secretariat.

All outstanding issues relating to the bloc’s various operation instruments, such as an online platform for tariff negotiations and a digital payment and settlement system, would be finalized and made operational by the end of March, Akufo-Addo said.



It's interesting, to me, to see how while the rest of the world is running screaming away from free trade, Africa is embracing it.
But, NSG, will this just be another failed experiment in globalization? Or will it bring much needed-prosperity to some of the most impoverished parts of the world?


I think it is worth trying.
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Postby Picairn » Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:10 am

While the US and Western countries are retreating from globalization, the rest of the world is ironically pushing it hard. It seems that they have realized the net benefits of free trade.
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Postby Jershaland » Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:00 am

A very good thing for all nations involved. Free trade is a prerequisite for a truly free and strong economy. The economies of Africa will continue to grow, benefiting all of its people and the world. Good luck Africa!

Also, globalization is a good thing, despite what both the right and the left say.
Last edited by Jershaland on Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Willtime » Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:38 am

I'm not sure if they can succeed.Globalization is an opportunity, but it also has its risks.
But I hope they can succeed.
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Postby An Alan Smithee Nation » Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:40 am

Good. Africa needs to do things like this for itself. I wish them prosperity.
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Postby Nekostan-e Gharbi » Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:43 am

It’s odd that we actually have something we agree on.

*disperses fufu*
Last edited by Nekostan-e Gharbi on Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby The Northern Chinese Republic » Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:08 am

Good for them. Should help with some of the issues caused by borders being in arbitrary places.

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Postby Cetacea » Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:22 am

Picairn wrote:While the US and Western countries are retreating from globalization, the rest of the world is ironically pushing it hard. It seems that they have realized the net benefits of free trade.


An African union isnt really globalization rather its Regional Cooperation and no western countries arent retreating from Trade Blocs - only Britain and Greece have a majority negative view of the EU and we’ll need to see how Biden plays his trump card :P

An African Union is a great idea especially as it will allow the wealthier nations in Africa to support the developing ones, and most importantly to shift the reliance on foreign debt from European and Chinese banks to something more akin to African self-reliance.

Its not going to be easy and will take many years, but its a good start...

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Postby Sundiata » Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:23 am

I am 100% for Africa embracing free markets.
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Postby Atheris » Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:25 am

As long as this doesn't devolve into a cesspool of vampiric money-sucking and hegemony by two or three powerful nations like the EU then I'm fine with it.
Last edited by Atheris on Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Heloin » Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:33 am

A trading bloc to encourage interdependency and increased independence from American, European, and Chinese influence is truly what we need. Eritrea's unwillingness to join isn't a real issue happily but how the larger powers, namely Nigeria, treat the changes that need to take place in the coming years is honestly the point where this could be a amazing success or another failure.

Sundiata wrote:I am 100% for Africa embracing free markets.

That's not the same thing as free trade and is not what is happening.
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Postby Sundiata » Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:35 am

Heloin wrote:A trading bloc to encourage interdependency and increased independence from American, European, and Chinese influence is truly what we need. Eritrea's unwillingness to join isn't a real issue happily but how the larger powers, namely Nigeria, treat the changes that need to take place in the coming years is honestly the point where this could be a amazing success or another failure.

Sundiata wrote:I am 100% for Africa embracing free markets.

That's not the same thing as free trade and is not what is happening.

Free trade with little to no tariffs is a free market policy.
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Postby Heloin » Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:41 am

Sundiata wrote:
Heloin wrote:A trading bloc to encourage interdependency and increased independence from American, European, and Chinese influence is truly what we need. Eritrea's unwillingness to join isn't a real issue happily but how the larger powers, namely Nigeria, treat the changes that need to take place in the coming years is honestly the point where this could be a amazing success or another failure.


That's not the same thing as free trade and is not what is happening.

Free trade with little to no tariffs is a free market policy.

Your conflating ideas that while often intertwined are still very separate. Some African countries are embracing free market policies for their economies and some are not.
Last edited by Heloin on Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Sundiata » Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:46 am

Heloin wrote:
Sundiata wrote:Free trade with little to no tariffs is a free market policy.

Your conflating ideas that while often intertwined are still very separate. Some African countries are embracing free market policies for their economies and some are not.
While free trade is a free market policy, every African economy does not score highly in economic freedom. Yes. Every African economy is not fully embracing free market policies to the detriment of their people.
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Postby Dumb Ideologies » Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:12 pm

I'm generally opposed to free trade policies, but if this is regionalisation rather than globalisation it could work out. If they can get more of what they need from each other and rely less on the West and China it might help with keeping the profits of development local.
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Postby Thermodolia » Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:14 pm

Kowani wrote:Source 1
Source 2

JOHANNESBURG - African countries began officially trading under a new continent-wide free trade area on Friday, after months of delays caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.

But experts view the New Year's Day launch as largely symbolic with full implementation of the deal expected to take years.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) aims to bring together 1.3 billion people in a $3.4 trillion economic bloc that will be the largest free trade area since the establishment of the World Trade Organization.

Backers say it will boost trade among African neighbours while allowing the continent to develop its own value chains. The World Bank estimates it could lift tens of millions out of poverty by 2035.

But obstacles - ranging from ubiquitous red tape and poor infrastructure to the entrenched protectionism of some of its members - must be overcome if the bloc is to reach its full potential.

Trade under the AfCFTA was meant to be launched on July 1 but was pushed back after COVID-19 made in-person negotiations impossible.

However, the pandemic also gave the process added impetus, said Silver Ojakol, chief of staff at the AfCFTA's secretariat.

"We saw the impact on our economies of the disruption of imports due to the pandemic," he said. "So there's actually been an increase in political will to boost intra-African integration."

Every African country except Eritrea has signed on to the AfCFTA framework agreement, and 34 have ratified it. But observers such as W. Gyude Moore - a former Liberian minister who is now a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development - say the real work begins now.

"I would be surprised if they can have everything set up within 24 months," he told Reuters. "For long-term success, I think we'll need to look at how long it took Europe. This is a multi-decade process."
'WE MUST START SOMEWHERE'
Historic challenges including Africa's poor road and rail links, political unrest, excessive border bureaucracy and petty corruption will not disappear overnight.

And an annex to the deal outlining the rules of origin - an essential step for determining which products can be subject to tariffs and duties - has not been completed yet.

Meanwhile, 41 of the zone's 54 member states have submitted tariff reduction schedules.

Members must phase out 90% of tariff lines - over five years for more advanced economies or 10 years for less developed nations. Another 7% considered sensitive will get more time, while 3% will be allowed to be placed on an exclusion list.

Finalising those schedules and communicating them to businesses must be done quickly, said Ziad Hamoui of Borderless Alliance, a group that campaigns for easier cross-border trade.

But efforts to implement the deal will also likely face resistance from countries' domestic interest groups. Fears of losing out to more competitive neighbours initially made some countries, including West African giant Nigeria, sceptical of the pan-African project.

Still, proponents of the zone are confident that initial steps towards its implementation will already allow member states to double intra-African trade by 2025.

"Economic integration is not an event. It's a process aid the AfCFTA secretariat's Ojakol. "We must start somewhere."


The first goods will begin to flow under an Africa-wide free-trade pact on Friday, the culmination of more than five years of negotiations on cutting cross-border tariffs. The accord comes to fruition at a time when trade tensions are rising across much of the rest of the world. The 55-nation Africa Union marked the occasion in a ceremony that came just hours after the U.K. left the European Union’s single market and a new post-Brexit trade agreement entered into force.

It’s “a day in which we take Africa a step closer to a vision of an integrated Africa, a vision of an integrated market on the African continent,” Wamkele Mene, the secretary general of the African Continental Free Trade Area, said during the event. The treaty seeks to lower or eliminate cross-border tariffs on most goods, facilitate the movement of capital and people, promote investment and pave the way for a continent-wide customs union. The bloc has a potential market of 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion, and could be the world’s biggest free-trade zone by area when the treaty becomes fully operational by 2030.

The accord will assist the continent to recover from the “devastating impact” of the coronavirus pandemic, said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who holds the AU’s rotating chairmanship.

Intra-African trade fell to 14.5% of the total in 2019, from 15% the year before. The free-trade pact could bolster the proportion to 22%, and commerce within the continent could rise to more than $231 billion even if all other conditions remained unchanged, the African Export-Import Bank said in report published on Dec. 15. Internal shipments accounted for 52% of total trade in Asia and 72% in Europe, according to Afreximbank data.

All but one of the 55 nations recognized by the African Union have signed to join the area and more than half have ratified the accord. Eritrea, which has a largely closed economy, is the sole holdout.

The pact will help Africa to industrialize on a big scale, said President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, the host country of the bloc’s secretariat.

All outstanding issues relating to the bloc’s various operation instruments, such as an online platform for tariff negotiations and a digital payment and settlement system, would be finalized and made operational by the end of March, Akufo-Addo said.



It's interesting, to me, to see how while the rest of the world is running screaming away from free trade, Africa is embracing it.
But, NSG, will this just be another failed experiment in globalization? Or will it bring much needed-prosperity to some of the most impoverished parts of the world?

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Postby Stellar Colonies » Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:16 pm

Thermodolia wrote:
Kowani wrote:Source 1
Source 2

JOHANNESBURG - African countries began officially trading under a new continent-wide free trade area on Friday, after months of delays caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.

But experts view the New Year's Day launch as largely symbolic with full implementation of the deal expected to take years.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) aims to bring together 1.3 billion people in a $3.4 trillion economic bloc that will be the largest free trade area since the establishment of the World Trade Organization.

Backers say it will boost trade among African neighbours while allowing the continent to develop its own value chains. The World Bank estimates it could lift tens of millions out of poverty by 2035.

But obstacles - ranging from ubiquitous red tape and poor infrastructure to the entrenched protectionism of some of its members - must be overcome if the bloc is to reach its full potential.

Trade under the AfCFTA was meant to be launched on July 1 but was pushed back after COVID-19 made in-person negotiations impossible.

However, the pandemic also gave the process added impetus, said Silver Ojakol, chief of staff at the AfCFTA's secretariat.

"We saw the impact on our economies of the disruption of imports due to the pandemic," he said. "So there's actually been an increase in political will to boost intra-African integration."

Every African country except Eritrea has signed on to the AfCFTA framework agreement, and 34 have ratified it. But observers such as W. Gyude Moore - a former Liberian minister who is now a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development - say the real work begins now.

"I would be surprised if they can have everything set up within 24 months," he told Reuters. "For long-term success, I think we'll need to look at how long it took Europe. This is a multi-decade process."
'WE MUST START SOMEWHERE'
Historic challenges including Africa's poor road and rail links, political unrest, excessive border bureaucracy and petty corruption will not disappear overnight.

And an annex to the deal outlining the rules of origin - an essential step for determining which products can be subject to tariffs and duties - has not been completed yet.

Meanwhile, 41 of the zone's 54 member states have submitted tariff reduction schedules.

Members must phase out 90% of tariff lines - over five years for more advanced economies or 10 years for less developed nations. Another 7% considered sensitive will get more time, while 3% will be allowed to be placed on an exclusion list.

Finalising those schedules and communicating them to businesses must be done quickly, said Ziad Hamoui of Borderless Alliance, a group that campaigns for easier cross-border trade.

But efforts to implement the deal will also likely face resistance from countries' domestic interest groups. Fears of losing out to more competitive neighbours initially made some countries, including West African giant Nigeria, sceptical of the pan-African project.

Still, proponents of the zone are confident that initial steps towards its implementation will already allow member states to double intra-African trade by 2025.

"Economic integration is not an event. It's a process aid the AfCFTA secretariat's Ojakol. "We must start somewhere."


The first goods will begin to flow under an Africa-wide free-trade pact on Friday, the culmination of more than five years of negotiations on cutting cross-border tariffs. The accord comes to fruition at a time when trade tensions are rising across much of the rest of the world. The 55-nation Africa Union marked the occasion in a ceremony that came just hours after the U.K. left the European Union’s single market and a new post-Brexit trade agreement entered into force.

It’s “a day in which we take Africa a step closer to a vision of an integrated Africa, a vision of an integrated market on the African continent,” Wamkele Mene, the secretary general of the African Continental Free Trade Area, said during the event. The treaty seeks to lower or eliminate cross-border tariffs on most goods, facilitate the movement of capital and people, promote investment and pave the way for a continent-wide customs union. The bloc has a potential market of 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion, and could be the world’s biggest free-trade zone by area when the treaty becomes fully operational by 2030.

The accord will assist the continent to recover from the “devastating impact” of the coronavirus pandemic, said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who holds the AU’s rotating chairmanship.

Intra-African trade fell to 14.5% of the total in 2019, from 15% the year before. The free-trade pact could bolster the proportion to 22%, and commerce within the continent could rise to more than $231 billion even if all other conditions remained unchanged, the African Export-Import Bank said in report published on Dec. 15. Internal shipments accounted for 52% of total trade in Asia and 72% in Europe, according to Afreximbank data.

All but one of the 55 nations recognized by the African Union have signed to join the area and more than half have ratified the accord. Eritrea, which has a largely closed economy, is the sole holdout.

The pact will help Africa to industrialize on a big scale, said President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, the host country of the bloc’s secretariat.

All outstanding issues relating to the bloc’s various operation instruments, such as an online platform for tariff negotiations and a digital payment and settlement system, would be finalized and made operational by the end of March, Akufo-Addo said.



It's interesting, to me, to see how while the rest of the world is running screaming away from free trade, Africa is embracing it.
But, NSG, will this just be another failed experiment in globalization? Or will it bring much needed-prosperity to some of the most impoverished parts of the world?

If they can break free from the neocolonialism of the PRC more power to them

And France as well.
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Postby Thermodolia » Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:18 pm

Stellar Colonies wrote:
Thermodolia wrote:If they can break free from the neocolonialism of the PRC more power to them

And France as well.

I forgot about them. They really aren’t happy about this. I wonder if France will create their own bloc for west Africa
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Postby Glorious Hong Kong » Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:37 am

Africa's destiny should be for Africans to decide. If a unified, African trading bloc gives African countries more bargaining power vis a vis the U.S., the EU, and China, then more power to them, I guess? Equally, if a member-state votes to leave, then the will of the people must be roundly respected and not derided as racist and ignorant and secession should be swiftly facilitated.
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Postby Heloin » Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:44 am

Glorious Hong Kong wrote:Africa's destiny should be for Africans to decide. If a unified, African trading bloc gives African countries more bargaining power vis a vis the U.S., the EU, and China, then more power to them, I guess?

Ending dependence on the outside powers who've down nothing but exploit African resources is best for Africa.

Equally, if a member-state votes to leave, then the will of the people must be roundly respected and not derided as racist and ignorant and secession should be swiftly facilitated.

What's the point of saying this? A bitter swipe at the EU for how Brexit has happened is a less than useless comparison here.
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Major-Tom
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Postby Major-Tom » Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:50 am

Good news for Africa.
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Nekostan-e Gharbi
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Postby Nekostan-e Gharbi » Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:54 pm

Heloin wrote:
Glorious Hong Kong wrote:Africa's destiny should be for Africans to decide. If a unified, African trading bloc gives African countries more bargaining power vis a vis the U.S., the EU, and China, then more power to them, I guess?

Ending dependence on the outside powers who've down nothing but exploit African resources is best for Africa.

Equally, if a member-state votes to leave, then the will of the people must be roundly respected and not derided as racist and ignorant and secession should be swiftly facilitated.

What's the point of saying this? A bitter swipe at the EU for how Brexit has happened is a less than useless comparison here.


Ah I think GHK really has Hong Kong independence in mind and is applying this principle to Africa. So say Egypt doesn’t want to be in the bloc any more because Egyptians actually agree to leave it shouldn’t be considered racist and prevented.
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Postby Willtime » Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:48 pm

Thermodolia wrote:
Kowani wrote:Source 1
Source 2

JOHANNESBURG - African countries began officially trading under a new continent-wide free trade area on Friday, after months of delays caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.

But experts view the New Year's Day launch as largely symbolic with full implementation of the deal expected to take years.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) aims to bring together 1.3 billion people in a $3.4 trillion economic bloc that will be the largest free trade area since the establishment of the World Trade Organization.

Backers say it will boost trade among African neighbours while allowing the continent to develop its own value chains. The World Bank estimates it could lift tens of millions out of poverty by 2035.

But obstacles - ranging from ubiquitous red tape and poor infrastructure to the entrenched protectionism of some of its members - must be overcome if the bloc is to reach its full potential.

Trade under the AfCFTA was meant to be launched on July 1 but was pushed back after COVID-19 made in-person negotiations impossible.

However, the pandemic also gave the process added impetus, said Silver Ojakol, chief of staff at the AfCFTA's secretariat.

"We saw the impact on our economies of the disruption of imports due to the pandemic," he said. "So there's actually been an increase in political will to boost intra-African integration."

Every African country except Eritrea has signed on to the AfCFTA framework agreement, and 34 have ratified it. But observers such as W. Gyude Moore - a former Liberian minister who is now a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development - say the real work begins now.

"I would be surprised if they can have everything set up within 24 months," he told Reuters. "For long-term success, I think we'll need to look at how long it took Europe. This is a multi-decade process."
'WE MUST START SOMEWHERE'
Historic challenges including Africa's poor road and rail links, political unrest, excessive border bureaucracy and petty corruption will not disappear overnight.

And an annex to the deal outlining the rules of origin - an essential step for determining which products can be subject to tariffs and duties - has not been completed yet.

Meanwhile, 41 of the zone's 54 member states have submitted tariff reduction schedules.

Members must phase out 90% of tariff lines - over five years for more advanced economies or 10 years for less developed nations. Another 7% considered sensitive will get more time, while 3% will be allowed to be placed on an exclusion list.

Finalising those schedules and communicating them to businesses must be done quickly, said Ziad Hamoui of Borderless Alliance, a group that campaigns for easier cross-border trade.

But efforts to implement the deal will also likely face resistance from countries' domestic interest groups. Fears of losing out to more competitive neighbours initially made some countries, including West African giant Nigeria, sceptical of the pan-African project.

Still, proponents of the zone are confident that initial steps towards its implementation will already allow member states to double intra-African trade by 2025.

"Economic integration is not an event. It's a process aid the AfCFTA secretariat's Ojakol. "We must start somewhere."


The first goods will begin to flow under an Africa-wide free-trade pact on Friday, the culmination of more than five years of negotiations on cutting cross-border tariffs. The accord comes to fruition at a time when trade tensions are rising across much of the rest of the world. The 55-nation Africa Union marked the occasion in a ceremony that came just hours after the U.K. left the European Union’s single market and a new post-Brexit trade agreement entered into force.

It’s “a day in which we take Africa a step closer to a vision of an integrated Africa, a vision of an integrated market on the African continent,” Wamkele Mene, the secretary general of the African Continental Free Trade Area, said during the event. The treaty seeks to lower or eliminate cross-border tariffs on most goods, facilitate the movement of capital and people, promote investment and pave the way for a continent-wide customs union. The bloc has a potential market of 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion, and could be the world’s biggest free-trade zone by area when the treaty becomes fully operational by 2030.

The accord will assist the continent to recover from the “devastating impact” of the coronavirus pandemic, said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who holds the AU’s rotating chairmanship.

Intra-African trade fell to 14.5% of the total in 2019, from 15% the year before. The free-trade pact could bolster the proportion to 22%, and commerce within the continent could rise to more than $231 billion even if all other conditions remained unchanged, the African Export-Import Bank said in report published on Dec. 15. Internal shipments accounted for 52% of total trade in Asia and 72% in Europe, according to Afreximbank data.

All but one of the 55 nations recognized by the African Union have signed to join the area and more than half have ratified the accord. Eritrea, which has a largely closed economy, is the sole holdout.

The pact will help Africa to industrialize on a big scale, said President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, the host country of the bloc’s secretariat.

All outstanding issues relating to the bloc’s various operation instruments, such as an online platform for tariff negotiations and a digital payment and settlement system, would be finalized and made operational by the end of March, Akufo-Addo said.



It's interesting, to me, to see how while the rest of the world is running screaming away from free trade, Africa is embracing it.
But, NSG, will this just be another failed experiment in globalization? Or will it bring much needed-prosperity to some of the most impoverished parts of the world?

If they can break free from the neocolonialism of the PRC more power to them



And US.

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Sungoldy-China
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Posts: 108
Founded: Aug 15, 2020
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Postby Sungoldy-China » Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:40 am

The borders of Africa are the product of the malicious intent of Western colonists, which led to wars between African countries;

If African Continent-Wide Free Trade Bloc reduce border conflicts, it will be a greate success
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