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Save the DATE: Africa Day 2023, Accelerating implementation of the AfCFTA

To celebrate AfricaDay on 25 May we focus on the African Union's theme of the year for 2023 – accelerating the implementation of the #AfricanContinentalFreeTradeArea (AfCFTA) to bring greater prosperity to the #continent.

Africa Day is an annual celebration of the achievements and potential of the African continent which is celebrated in Africa and countries round the world. Its date – May 25 – commemorates the founding of the #OrganisationofAfricanUnity (OAU), the precursor of the current African Union. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the signature of its founding charter in #AddisAbaba, #Ethiopia.

The #AfricanUnion (AU) has chosen “Acceleration of AfCFTA implementation” as its theme for 2023.

The AfCFTA is an ambitious trade pact aimed at creating a single market for goods and services of almost 1.4bn people across #Africa and deepening the economic integration of the continent.

Trade integration across Africa has long been limited by outdated #infrastructure and differing regulations across dozens of markets. Intra-African exports were 16.6% of total exports in 2017, compared with 68.1% in #Europe, 59.4% in #Asia, 55% in #America and 7% in #Oceania.

When fully implemented, the AfCFTA will be the world’s biggest largest free trade area, with a combined gross domestic product of around $3.4 trillion. Fifty-four of the continent’s 55 countries are signatories to its founding agreement.

Real income gains

The AfCFTA is projected not only to lead to #jobcreation, #poverty alleviation, improved welfare and sustainable development but also to ensure inclusivity for women and youth, development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and overall industrialisation of the continent, guided by #Agenda2063, the AU’s master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future.

The #WorldBank has estimated that by 2035, real income gains from full implementation of the AfCFTA could be nearly $450bn. It has also suggested that Africa could see a rise in foreign direct investment by up to 159%, and a rise in exports to the rest of the world of 32%, while intra-African exports could grow by 109%, led by manufactured goods.

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