According to the report jointly published by the UN Economic Commission for Africa and Trademark East Africa, implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Eastern Africa could result in welfare gains amounting to USD 1.8 billion for East Africa, boosting intra-African exports by more than USD 1.1 billion and creating more than 2 million new jobs.
The publication provides a first comprehensive assessment of the potential impact of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on the economies of East Africa and underscores the ambitious nature of the AfCFTA: it is not simply a question of establishing a ‘free trade area’.
It liberalizes service sectors as well as merchandise goods. It aims to simplify investment and intellectual property regimes and create a common platform for competition policy.
Boost to intra-African trade expected
According to the report, the elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers required by the Agreement will boost intra-African trade and improve developmental prospects for East Africa, allowing regional firms to tap into the rapidly growing markets both within the region and throughout Africa.
However, the report stresses that many of the expected gains could be undermined if the needs and concerns of the private sector are not heard in order to gain an understanding of the impact on the affected sectors. This requires an understanding of needs at all levels including large, small and medium-sized enterprises.
Download the report here