Central Africa could be the continent’s rising star, thanks to the African Continental Free Trade Area

Content provided by APO Group. CNBC Africa provides content from APO Group as a service to its readers, but does not edit the articles it publishes. CNBC Africa is not responsible for the content provided by APO Group.

Central Africa stands to benefit the most from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), data from the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) shows.

Hanan Morsy, Director of Research at the Bank, revealed the findings at the launch of one of the Bank’s flagship reports in Malabo, where the African Development Bank is hosting its Annual Meetings.

Morsy said Central Africa’s real income could increase by as much as 7% in one of the scenarios that researchers describe in the 2019 African Economic Outlook. By the same calculations, East Africa, currently the star performer on the continent, would experience an increase of around 4.2%, followed closely by North Africa.

The scenarios measure the potential outcomes of the AfCFTA, ranging from one (least impact) to four (greatest impact).

“While there are differences in gains, all African countries are better off with regional integration than without,” Morsy said.

Morsy said current levels of growth were not adequate to generate jobs for millions of unemployed Africans, but regional integration could stimulate the growth needed to make a dent in unemployment. Morsy said Africa needed to grow between 4% and 6% in order to turn the tide.

The Outlook predicts that Africa can add 4.5% to its GDP, provided that governments do away with bilateral tariffs and non-tariff barriers and keep rules of origin simple.

The launch included a panel discussion by Finance and Economic Planning Ministers, who are also Governors of the Bank.

Aïchatou Kané, from Niger, said the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, was in the “fast lane” of integration and planned to have its own currency in 12 months.

Kané’s comments were echoed by Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania who all agreed that integration would help the continent remain relevant as a global economic player.

Regional integration is one of the Bank’s High 5 strategic areas and the theme of the 2019 Annual Meetings. The AfCFTA is the cornerstone of the integration project. The AfCFTA was launched in March 2018 and the key 22nd ratification was received in April 2019. The next step is for African ministers of trade to work on how to facilitate the launch of the AfCFTA during a summit meeting on 7 July 2019.

The AfCFTA will constitute the world’s largest free trade area, consolidating an integrated market of 1.3 billion consumers with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of about $3.3-trillion. It is estimated that Africa’s GDP growth could reach 6% a year with a borderless continent (UNECA).

The four-day Annual Meetings are being hosted in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea. More than 2,000 ministers, government officials, development partners and civil society representatives have gathered in the island capital to discuss Africa’s development agenda.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

Media Contact: Gershwin Wanneburg Communication Officer Communication and External Relations Department African Development Bank Email: [email protected]

About the African Development Bank Group: The African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 41 African countries with an external office in Japan, the Bank contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states. For more information: www.AfDB.org

Media filesDownload logo

Related Content

Andela looks to double talent pool with Africa expansion

Global engineering talent company, Andela is looking to double its talent pool and is ready to accept engineers from all African countries. Omowale David-Ashiru, Andela’s Vice President for Global Operations joins CNBC Africa for more.

Positive economic growth prospects fuelling Mozambique property rush

Mozambique is seen as a growth potential for investment opportunities, according to the International Monetary Fund its GDP is predicted at 5.5 per cent in 2020 and inflation projected to remain low, increasing slightly to 5 per cent at the end of the year. Ettiene Erasmus, Entrepreneur of Mozambique Property Developments & Investments joins CNBC Africa for more.

Why Africa’s next generation of writers should embrace digital publishing

Are Africa’s literary traditions on the wane? Or are we not notiving this generation’s breed of Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebes? CNBC Africa’s Arnold Kwizera spoke to Comic Republic’s Jide Martin on the future of the industry.

East African Breweries CEO shares how the company is responding to the COVID-19 challenges

The brewing industry has always attracted double digit growth due to the demand of beer, wine and other spirit drinks. The Covid-19 pandemic has however dealt a hard blow to the industry, with bars and pubs forced to close as part of the measures to curb the spread of the disease. Andrew Cowan, Group Managing Director and CEO, East African Breweries Limited joins CNBC Africa for more.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

More from CNBC Africa

Ghana’s president self-isolates after close person tests positive for coronavirus

ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo will self-isolate for 14 days on the advice of doctors after a person in his...

Health minister hails responsible behavior after English pubs reopen

Thousands of people flocked to pubs, restaurants and bars around England on Saturday as large parts of the hospitality sector reopened for the first time since March.

COVID-19: Now is the time for Africa to grow food

This Covid-19 crisis has also exposed the extreme fragility of the global food system. Social-distancing and lockdown measures to curb the virus’s spread have significantly reduced people’s incomes and thus global food demand.

Morocco’s RAM to axe routes, may reduce fleet to secure aid

RABAT (Reuters) - Moroccan airline Royal Air Maroc plans to cancel some air links, cut jobs and may sell 20 aircraft to...

Partner Content

Sanlam launches urgent job-preservation initiative in response to COVID-19

Sanlam Investments is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic through large-scale support of the recovery of South African companies, from small enterprises to...

Is Market Volatility Here For The Foreseeable Future?

Content provided by CompareForexBrokers Prior to understanding why market volatility might be here to stay for the foreseeable future,...

Trending Now

Keep SMB’s Congo coltan mine in supply chains, says mineral tracker

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Insecurity around Société Minière de Bisunzu’s (SMB) coltan mine in Democratic Republic of Congo could get worse if it...

Malawi’s election cheer dampened by coronavirus surge

“We’re in a worse situation today than we were three months ago. Coronavirus is spreading everywhere in Malawi and it’s spreading to kill,” he said in a televised address.

Congo mines minister to meet with firms on confinement moratorium

“Coronavirus has dealt a fatal blow to mining activities, with the impossibility of repatriating capital, importations of products for the industry coming to a halt, the dizzying drop in metals prices on global markets in March,” he said.
- Advertisement -