Egypt registers first-half primary surplus of EGP 3.2 billion    ITFC approves $2.6 billion financing for Egypt    Hitachi to connect Gulf of Suez wind farm with Egypt national power grid    Egypt works on charting cooperation strategies with international institutions for 5 years: Al-Mashat    Maha karara joins AAIB as Head of Corporate Communications, Sustainability    Over 2.4 million newborns examined for hearing impairment: Health Ministry    Netflix releases trailer of Arab adaption of 'Perfect Strangers' film    Balqees to headline concert celebrating launch of streaming giant LIVENow in MENA    Sawsan Badr to be honoured at Aswan Women Film Festival    Al-Sisi follows up on 'Great Transfiguration Project' in St. Catherine    Cairo, London stress need to strengthen cooperation to face climate change    Foreigners account for 22.6% of Egypt's T-bills issuances in 1H 2021: CBE    MP Abdel Hady Al-Qasby calls government to facilitate and support NGOs    Egypt's ambassador to Italy passes away    Egypt confirms readiness to help African countries face terrorism and extremism    An estimated 235 million people needed humanitarian assistance and protection in 2021, an increase of 40% compared to 2020: IOM Egypt    Egypt, DRC discuss water cooperation during WYF    Egypt, DR Congo discuss boosting bilateral cooperation during WYF    Cameroonian police probe assault on three Algerian journalists covering AFCON    Pharaohs start AFCON 2021 campaign with fierce clash against Nigeria    Foreign Ministry opens capacity building course for French-speaking African diplomats    BRICS development bank admits Egypt as new member    Nermien Ismail Schools opens a new campus in O'West    Netherlands Embassy, E7kky Magazine celebrate success of 21 Egyptian women    Women make up 45% of Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority staff    Yas Island hosts travel partners at Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2021    Olaf Scholz becomes Germany's new leader, ending Merkel 16-year historic era    Egypt's trade with Nile basin countries climbs 26% y-o-y in 9 months    The unvaccinated prohibited from entry to Egypt state institutions starting December 1    Egypt's iron and steel exports jump 197% in 8 months    Ethiopia halts work at its embassy in Egypt for 'economic reasons'    It's a bit frustrating to draw at home: Real Madrid keeper after Villarreal game    Russia says it's in sync with US, China, Pakistan on Taliban    Shoukry reviews with Guterres Egypt's efforts to achieve SDGs, promote human rights    Sudan says countries must cooperate on vaccines    Johnson & Johnson: Second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19    Egypt to tax bloggers, YouTubers    Egypt's FM asserts importance of stability in Libya, holding elections as scheduled    Brazil calls up 8 EPL players for World Cup qualifying    We mustn't lose touch: Muller after Bayern win in Bundesliga    Egypt records 36 new deaths from Covid-19, highest since mid June    Egypt sells $3 bln US-dollar dominated eurobonds    Sisi calls on House, Senate to commence second legislative sessions on 3, 5 October    Gamal Hanafy's ceramic exhibition at Gezira Arts Centre is a must go    Italian Institute Director Davide Scalmani presents activities of the Cairo Institute for ITALIANA.IT platform    Qa'a play showing at Lycee El Horreya Theatre, Alexandria is a must go    On International Museum Day, Egypt opens two new museums at Cairo Airport    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Integrating Africa
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 26 - 04 - 2018

Egypt together with another 44 African countries recently signed the African Continental Free-Trade Area Agreement (AFCFTA), which is a crucial step towards creating an African common market.

African economic integration is expected to contribute to promoting sustainable development and increasing economic growth rates for all African economies in accordance with the Africa Vision 2063 programme endorsed by the African Union (AU).
The signing came during the African Union Summit that was held in the Rwandan capital Kigali in March. The decision to establish the AFCFTA was taken during the 18th African Summit held in Addis Ababa in 2012. The agreement, which should be ratified by the parliaments of the 44 countries within 120 days, is expected to be activated in 2019.
Egypt played an important role in the success of the negotiations relating to the agreement, including through constructive cooperation with the African countries concerned as well as providing the needed expertise to finalise the agreement.

AFCFTA will eventually bring together 55 African countries with a combined population of more than one billion people and a combined GDP of more than $4 trillion. It aims at increasing intra-African trade flows to $22 billion by 2022, almost 52 per cent higher than their level in 2012, in addition to boosting investment opportunities.
AFCFTA aims at establishing a single continental market for commodities and services, with free movement of businessmen, technicians and specialists to facilitate the transfer of technical knowledge and trade-related services in a number of areas. This will contribute to achieving the goals of sustainable development and enhance industrial and infrastructure development in the African countries.
AFCFTA also paves the way for the creation of the African Continental Customs Union and greater economic integration. This will encourage coordination between the African countries in removing tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade in goods and services as well as capital. It is expected that such integration will take place in five phases, including the Free Trade Area (FTA), the Customs Union (CU), the Common Market, the Monetary Union, and eventually full economic integration in which all the countries act as a single country with unified economic policies.
AFCFTA is also one of the main priorities for boosting the Egyptian economy due to the positive economic consequences that should be attained through a continental market for goods and services in Africa and the free movement of capital widening opportunities for investment.
Among the positive economic consequences are expanding intra-African trade through the better coordination of trade liberalisation and economic policies, enhancing the competitiveness of exporting industries, increasing productive capacity, and consolidating the efficiency of supply chains through enlarging production scales and the reallocation of resources.
The establishment of the FTA among the African countries will also improve their positions in the international market by taking advantage of economies of scale, helping them to access continental and international markets and widening investment opportunities that will assist in diminishing rates of unemployment.
The writer is a lecturer at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University.

Clic here to read the story from its source.