The continent of Africa comprises of 55 countries with about 1.35 billion people (16.72% of the global population) calling it home. The continent has a combined GDP of more than $3.4 trillion, a vast untapped potential and some of the fastest growing economies of the world.
But trade within the African continent is the lowest globally with more trade done from Africa outwards rather than inward.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement which started as a journey over four decades ago with the adoption of the Monrovia Strategy in 1979, the Lagos Plan of Action in 1980, the Abuja Treaty in 1991 and subsequent Decisions and Declarations adopted during various summits has finally come to fruition with the commencement of trading as of the 1st January 2021.
Anup Rampiar takes a look at what is AfCFTA and what it means for South Africa and the African continent in general.