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African Continental Free Trade Area (ACTFA)

CFTA – Continental Free Trade Area
Objectives of the CFTA

• Create a single continental market for goods and services, with free
movement of business persons and investments, and thus pave the way for
accelerating the establishment of the Continental Customs Union and the
African customs union.
• Expand intra African trade through better harmonization and
coordination of trade liberalization and facilitation regimes and
instruments across RECs and across Africa in general.
• Resolve the challenges of multiple and overlapping memberships and
expedite the regional and continental integration processes.
• Enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level through
exploiting opportunities for scale production, continental market access
and better reallocation of resources.

Background
The 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and
Government of the African Union, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in
January 2012, adopted a decision to establish a Continental Free Trade
Area (CFTA) by an indicative date of 2017. The Summit also endorsed the
Action Plan on Boosting Intra-Africa Trade (BIAT) which identifies seven
clusters: trade policy, trade facilitation, productive capacity, trade
related infrastructure, trade finance, trade information, and factor
market integration. The CFTA will bring together fifty-four African
countries with a combined population of more than one billion people and
a combined gross domestic product of more than US $3.4 trillion.

Negotiations
Negotiations for the CFTA are expected to in June 2015 and the CFTA
should be launched by an indicative date of 2017. The main objectives of
the CFTA are to create a single continental market for goods and
services, with free movement of business persons and investments, and
thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the Customs
Union. It will also expand intra-African trade through better
harmonization and coordination of trade liberalization and facilitation
and instruments across the RECs and across Africa in general. The CFTA
is also expected to enhance competitiveness at the industry and
enterprise level through exploitation of opportunities for scale
production, continental market access and better reallocation of
resources. The establishment of the CFTA and the implementation of the
Action Plan on Boosting Intra-African Trade (BIAT) provide a
comprehensive framework to pursue a developmental regionalism strategy.
The former is conceived as a time bound project, whereas BIAT is
continuous with concrete targets to double intra-African trade flows
from January 2012 and January 2022.

For more information : https://au.int/en/ti/cfta/about