The International Monetary Fund, IMF, said efforts such as the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, would bridge trade barriers and lift more than 50 million people out of poverty in Africa.
The IMF, in its report, ‘Trade Integration in Africa: Unleashing the continent’s potential in a changing world,’ noted that the trade barrier removal would increase median goods trade between African countries by 53 per cent.
The report projected that closing intra-Africa trade gaps would grow its trade with the rest of the world by 15 per cent.
“It finds that removing trade barriers would increase the median goods trade between African countries by 53 percent and with the rest of the world by 15 percent; raise the median African country’s real per capita GDP by more than 10 percent; and help lift an estimated 30-50 million people out of extreme poverty.”
IMF noted that, “Successful implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area could unlock important benefits including for jobs and income.”
The report further read in part, “The paper investigates the role of trade policy and the broader trade-enabling environment in determining the bilateral goods trade flows and country-level trade in services. It sheds light on how the implementation of the trade area and supporting policies could boost trade and income as well as help African countries integrate into regional value chains.”