Selected Impediments to the Success of the African Continental Free Trade Area (Afcfta) and the Effect on Africa’s Economic Development
Abstract:Regionalism is seen as pre-requisite for reducing the vulnerability and dependence of African economies to external influences. During the colonial era, African economies were geared at mineral extraction and the production of tropical crops for colonial industries. The study was guided by the following objectives; to analyze the issue of trust among member states and its effect on the AfCFTA, to determine the effect of sovereignty on the AfCFTA, to analyze how political goodwill among member states affects the AfCFTA and to come up with recommendations that can be adopted to make AfCFTA successful. Data was collected through interviews. The data collected was analyzed thematically. The study found out that; challenges that are likely to be faced by AfCFTA include; lack of political commitment, sovereignty and national institutional weakness. Solutions to the challenges are; political commitment, clear AfCFTA objectives and elimination of the trade barriers. The economic benefits of AfCFTA are; boosting of trade within Africa, growth in the investment and manufacturing within the African continent, agreement has the ability to ensure that there is the elimination of trade tariffs is within the continent. Political instability has also been linked to the AfCFTAsuccess. Any act of political instability in Africa will likely affect AfCFTA. The study recommends the following; AfCFTA signatory states should factor in the solutions that have been adopted in the current study. The adoption of the solutions by the members will ensure that there is smooth implementation of the agreements and thus reaping the economic benefits that are associated with it. The AfCFTA members should ensures that there are proper measures that are adopted in order to prevent any political instability. This can be done through collaborating with the AU security organs to mitigate such issues from ever happening.
Keywords:impediments, economic development, AfCFTA, recommendations