The entry into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on 30 May, after only three years of negotiations, is an economic, political and diplomatic milestone for the African Union (AU) and its member states, crucial for economic growth, job creation, and making Africa a meaningful player in international trade. But the continent will have to work together to ensure that the potential benefits are fully realized.
A necessary innovation
With its advances in maintaining peace and security, abundant natural resources, high growth rates, improved linkages to global supply chains and a youthful population, Africa is emerging as a new global centre of economic growth, increasingly sought after as a partner by the world’s biggest economies.… Seguir leyendo »
There is no doubt that Brussels policymakers and many European leaders recognize the need to move the EU’s relationship with Africa away from the ‘traditional’ donor–recipient dynamic, towards a genuinely fresh and respectful relationship. The two continents are close neighbours, with many shared interests and shared problems. Forging such a new partnership was the emphasis in the run up to the African Union-European Union summit, held in Côte d’Ivoire on 29–30 November.
The European Parliament invited a wide range of Africans to a pre-summit conference in Brussels. However, at a parallel pre-summit gathering in Abidjan, African concerns were manifest: that, even as it talks of partnership, the EU continues to set the agenda, often fails to consult its African partners and remains stuck in a post-colonial mentality.… Seguir leyendo »