We are at a time when concerted efforts are being made across the continent by government and private sector associations to deepen economic integration and boost intra-regional trade and cross-border investments. Currently, only about 12% of Africa’s trade is intra-regional. It is 22% for South America, 40% for North America, 50% for Asia and 70% for Western Europe. The tariff liberation of 60–85% will have a significant impact in facilitate the cross-border flow of goods and services.
The combined GDP of Africa is projected to reach $29 trillion by 2050, which would be equal to the current combined GDP of the EU and the US.
Late Dr. Calestous Juma indicated that the TFTA is a key landmark in Africa’s economic history. It ranks in significance with the independence of Ghana in 1957, the creation of the Organisation for African Unity in 1963, and its reinvention as the African Union in 2002. To paraphrase Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president, the best way to learn to be a continental free trade area is to be a continental free trade area.
How can we leverage the power of tech to accelerate intra-african trade? What are the low lying fruits? What does being mobile first and now mobile only continent mean to intra-regional trade? Africa now has over 453 million Internet users, can we begin now?
|David Macharia, Creative Lead, Versatile Photographers||Joseph Ayieko – Assistant Manager Business Advisory Services, KIE||Chebet Mutai – Founder Wazawazi||Chris Rumenda, Head of MarketPlace Jumia Kenya||Wandia Gichuru, Managing Director Vivo Activewear|