Structural Constraints to African Continental Free Trade Area: Prospects, Issues and Policy Options

Ogujiuba Kanayo


The foremost intents of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) predicates on the integration of the African continent into mobile flows of trade and investment. This framework is structured to boost industrial development within the continent. However, statistics show an abysmal trade performance for Africa in comparism to the rest of the world. In contrast, projections indicate that the benefactors of the AfCFTA framework would be SMEs in the short term, which account for more than 75% of the continent’s businesses. Notwithstanding Africa’s resolve to disassemble trade restrictions, barricades to intra-African trade have persisted. Conversely, the scheduling of AfCFTA stands in sharp contrast with an international perspective framed by a tenacious increase in trade-restrictive processes. The pertinent question remains, can the objectives of AfCFTA increase Intra African Trade, given the persistent structural barriers in the continent. Using a desktop approach and secondary data, this article examines contemporary issues, which encumber trade within and amongst the regional blocks. From our examination, the foremost obstacle to AfCFTA have a fundamental political focus rather than an economic dimension. Accomplishing AfCFTA objectives would entail a strong political will and efforts by political leaders in Africa; if the barriers are effectively fixed, AfCFTA could attain a welfare improvement projected at over 16 billion dollars.

Full Text:



Research in World Economy
ISSN 1923-3981(Print)ISSN 1923-399X(Online)


Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.