African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA)
On May 30, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) officially went into force.
According to the world bank, there are almost 300 trade treaty agreement, but none of them is as big as the one set in motion by the African Union. 54 countries of the AU have agreed to adopt a free trade area covering the continent. AfCFTA will cover more than 1.2 billion people and over $3 trillion in GDP.
This means that all AU member states will be able to facilitate imports and exports with lower or no tariffs, free access to the market and market information, and trade barriers will be eliminated.. African countries have agreed to scrap import tariffs on 90% of their imports from other African countries within five years.
This will make it cheaper to buy from other African countries, and will encourage trading on the continent.
Although this is one of the best things that will happen to businesses in the continent, it also has the capability to be a curse, especially for small businesses.. Small businesses will need a miracle not to be swallowed by this multimillion dollar corporates, because the latter can lower the cost of their products by leveraging the reduced tariffs imposed on imported goods… I mean who doesn’t like cheap stuff.
Because of this, Unlocking Africa is building up the biggest online business directory that will feature SMMEs from all AU member states to make it easier for small and medium sized businesses to identify each other and collaborate. In our bit to help ensure that collaborations and smooth intra-africa trading takes place, we have introduced a business directory that is easily accessible and free to SMMEs throughout the continent. All you have to do is go on our website www.unlockingafrica.co.za, click on the business directory page and list your company. It is our hope that every business, no matter how small, will be part of this agenda to make Africa the economic hub of the world.
– Tshepi Matloga