The IMF paper, which seeks to unveil Africa’s potential in the global space, notes that the fragmented trade integration on the continent is largely linked to the existing tariff and non-tariff barriers, the centrepiece of the AfCFTA deal.
If fast-tracked, there is even a bigger boost of unlocking a 15% uptick in trade flow between Africa and the rest of the world, raising real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in the median country by more than 10%.
This potential will only be possible if there is a slash in tariffs on intra-African trade by a whopping 90% and non-tariff measures (NTMs) by half – a move that will demand massive goodwill, especially at a time when there is growing distrust with governments, cut-throat competition, and pressure to raise more revenue through taxes.
“If Africa decides to follow Asians, for example, and bring trade barriers down from 6% down to 1%,
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