The AfCFTA and the Private Sector

Realizing Africa's Full Potential




Entered into force in May 2019, the AfCFTA has the potential to create nothing less than the largest free trade area in the world. According to the World Bank, it can unleash massive gains for African economies, usher in incremental reforms that will boost trade across the continent, and bring 30 million people out of extreme poverty.

On the sidelines of the past 35th AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Cap Verde became the 41st AU member state to ratify the agreement. The AfCFTA is at the heart of the vision of the Agenda 2063. Still, much remains to be done until AU member states can reach the Africa they want in terms of trade. While Phase II and Phase III are still ongoing, building the physical and digital infrastructure for the implementation of the AfCFTA remains another herculean task.

Another area that has so far received less attention as it should in order to make the AfCFTA a success story is the engagement of the private sector. While businesses have to learn how the AfCFTA works, the functionality of the state-driven AfCFTA would benefit tremendously from integrating and responding to the advice of traders and entrepreneurs in the years to come.

In a joint event, the KAS Office Ethiopia/AU and UNECA want to evaluate progress on the AfCFTA and highlight the importance of the private sector in a high-level panel discussion with key stakeholders from the AU, AU member states, and the business world.


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Hiwote Tadesse

Portrait Hiwote Tadesse

Projektmanagerin Afrikanische Union +251 115 577 644