Just 11% of its trade takes place within its own boarders, the lowest of any region. Politics and resource constraints have kept the continent fractured, but a new crop of competitive pan-African companies and leaders are changing that equation. Increasingly skilled trade ministers and corporate executives are promoting free trade across and within Africans trade blocs.
Since 2013, a commission of the African Union is working on the preparation for the establishment and implementation of an African wide Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). Its ambitious common goal is to double intra-African trade by 2022. This commission is working very close with the top-quality assurance institutions, private sector and youth entrepreneurship leadership forums to draft the norms and standards needed. The more than 1 billion people on this continent can no longer just be seen as a “market” for the rest of the world, but must be a market for African people as well as to do business with each other to have a more continental integration.