General Objectives

The main objectives of the AfCFTA are to, inter alia, create a single continental market with free movement of goods and services, facilitate investments, promote sustainable and inclusive development, gender equality, and structural transformation as well as enhance competitiveness and promote industrial development of African economies.

The AfCFTA will bring together all 55 Member States of the African Union covering a market of more than 1.3 billion people which is expected to grow to 3.4 billion by 2050 and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of more than US$3.4 trillion. The AfCFTA will be the largest free trade area, in terms of the number of participating countries, since the formation of the World Trade Organization.

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The main objectives of the AfCFTA are to, inter alia, create a single continental market with free movement of goods and services, facilitate investments, promote sustainable and inclusive development, gender equality, and structural transformation as well as enhance competitiveness and promote industrial development of African economies.

The AfCFTA will bring together all 55 Member States of the African Union covering a market of more than 1.2 billion people which is expected to grow to 2.5 billion by 2050 and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of more than US$3.4 trillion. The AfCFTA will be the largest free trade area, in terms of the number of participating countries, since the formation of the World Trade Organization.

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The general objectives of the AfCFTA are to:

Create a single market for goods, services, facilitated by movement of persons in order to deepen the economic integration of the African continent and in accordance with the Pan African Vision of “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa” enshrined in Agenda 2063

Create a liberalised market for goods and services through successive rounds of negotiations

Contribute to the movement of capital and natural persons and facilitate investments building on the initiatives and developments in the State Parties and RECs

Lay the foundation for the establishment of a Continental Customs Union at a later stage

Promote and attain sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development, gender equality, and structural transformation of the State Parties

Enhance the competitiveness of the economies of State Parties within the continent and the global market

Promote industrial development through diversification and regional value chain development, agricultural development, and food security; and

Resolve the challenges of multiple and overlapping memberships and expedite the regional and continental integration processes.

AfCFTA contributions to the African Economy

It is estimated that AfCFTA has the potential both to boost intra-African trade by 52.3 percent by eliminating import duties and to double this trade if non-tariff barriers are also reduced.

With average tariffs of 6.1 percent, businesses currently face higher tariffs when they export within Africa than when they export outside it. AfCFTA will progressively eliminate tariffs on intra-African trade, making it easier for African businesses to trade within the continent and cater to and benefit from the growing African market.

AfCFTA is expected to expand the size of Africa’s economy to US$29 trillion by 2050.

Roasted coffe beans shaping Map of the Africa on blackboard with cup of coffee