African superpower Nigeria has signed an agreement which aims to increase trade between African countries. This leaves Eritrea as the only African country not to be part of the trading bloc. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari signed the landmark agreement at the African Union (AU) summit in Niger.
The first step is to cut tariffs for goods from countries within the bloc but the time frame to do this is yet to be announced. The AU says that the African Continental Free Trade Area – called AfCFTA – will create the world’s largest free trade area.
It also estimates that implementing AfCFTA will lead to around a 60% boost in intra-African trade by 2022.
Only 16% of international trade by African countries takes place between African countries, according to research by the African Development Bank in 2014. At the moment some of that intra-Africa trade ranges from fresh fish from the Seychelles to petrol from Angola.
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