Basically, AfCFTA will put African economies – and African citizens – on a better economic footing. The agreement will improve competitiveness and promote investment, innovation and economic growth by improving efficiency and removing trade barriers. In fact, it will eliminate tariffs on 90% of goods and gradually apply the same to services, at a time when other parts of the world are reconsidering trade agreements and economic integration. In particular, the abolition of tariffs on goods is expected to increase the value of intra-African trade by 15-25% by 2040. That would be between $50 billion and $70 billion. The 12th African Union extraordinary meeting on AfCFTA was convened to bring the new agreement into its operational phase, which was held in Niamey on 7 July 2019.   If African governments are truly committed to the success of AfCFTA, they must show the political will to resolve trade conflicts through dialogue and not through unilateral trade restrictions. African leaders who have not yet done so should change their thinking, accept changes and show that they truly believe in the potential of the continental market to contribute to long-term shared prosperity. Nigeria is Africa`s largest economy and, for a long time, a regional leader, so observers, as they became bogged down, wondered whether the African trading bloc would ever take place. Indeed, Africa will benefit even more from trade diversification and value chain growth than through a single free trade agreement. Most African exports are raw materials: agriculture and mineral products, with about 70% of the value added outside the continent. The limited value-added is partly the result of trade agreements that penalize processed products from Africa in favour of raw materials.
And these agreements need to be amended so that the continent benefits the most from afCFTA. It also estimates that the implementation of AfCFTA will lead to an increase in intra-African trade of about 60% by 2022. According to a 2014 African Development Bank study, only 16% of African countries` international trade is between African countries. The purest free trade agreement (FTA) removes all border taxes or trade barriers on goods. The implementation of afCFTA, although delayed by the COVID 19 pandemic, is expected to resume in January 2021, with the initial focus on facilitating trade for small and medium-sized enterprises, which account for 90% of the jobs created on the continent. But the world that AfCFTA will address in January will be very different from the world in which it was conceived.