It has been a year since the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) launched. Touted as a new dawn, a solution to unlock intra-African trade, investment, and industrialization, the scheme has had a quiet first year.
AfCFTA is an ambitious trade pact to form the world’s largest free trade area by connecting almost 1.3bn people across 54 African countries.
The agreement aims to create a single market for goods and services in order to deepen the economic integration of Africa.
But its pace has been held back by the pandemic, a lack of significant policy reforms and trade facilitation measures, and the continent’s first recession in 30 years.
Gyude Moore is a senior policy fellow at the Centre for Global Development. He’s also served as Liberia’s Minister of Public Works. He joins the show to talk about how to breathe new momentum into the AfCFTA in 2022.
Ethiopia weighs options after exclusion from AGOA
Ethiopia is scrambling to find new export markets after being shut out of the lucrative US market over human rights concerns.
The country’s eligibility for the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA), a trade program that provides tariff-free access to the US market for African manufacturers, was formally revoked on January 1st.
Addis Ababa’s industrial parks which have grown on the back of exporting textiles to the US now face the prospect of shutting down, along with tens of thousands of jobs.
Kenya, South African Airways eye merger
The national flag carriers of Kenya and South Africa will partner to form a new airline expected to launch in 2023.
In his new year's eve address, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that the companies will combine operations to form what he called a 'Pan-African Airline'.
The deal is thought to have been agreed during Kenyatta’s visit to South Africa last November.
Both airlines are loss-making, depending on cash injections from state coffers to stay afloat.