The implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Eastern Africa could result in economic gains amounting to US$ 1.8 billion for East Africa. This would boost intra-African exports by more than US$ 1.1 billion, creating more than two million new jobs, according to a new report.
The report, entitled: Creating a Unified Regional Market - Towards the Implementation of The African Continental Free Trade Area in East Africa, jointly published by the UN Economic Commission for Africa and Trademark East Africa, was launched this week in Nairobi, Kenya.
The launch event was attended by more than 130 experts, including Ministers, ambassadors, government officials, trade economists, university lecturers, development partners and youth and women’s representatives from Kenya, Burundi, South Sudan, Somaliland, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Ethiopia.
Boost to intra-African trade expected
According to the report, the elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers required by the Agreement will boost intra-African trade and improve developmental prospects for East Africa, allowing regional firms to tap into the rapidly growing markets both within the region and throughout Africa.
However, the report stresses that many of the expected gains could be undermined if the needs and concerns of the private sector are not heard in order to gain an understanding of the impact on the affected sectors. This requires an understanding of needs at all levels including large, small and medium-sized enterprises.