Africa has great potential

Photo : lonely planet


A trade law expert says African businesses can derive greater benefits from regional trade if governments remove logistical inefficiencies at borders.

And a trade policy think-tank based in South Africa, Trade Law centre says while the African continental Free Trade Area will be good for intra-Africa trade, the benefits will take far much longer to reach importers and exporters on the continent.

Professor Gerhard Erasmus says the removing of logistical inefficiencies in transport and customs clearance at borders can result in an immediate 20 percent boost in intra African trade.

He says when it comes to the African continental free trade area, Governments think about the impact of regional trade on their individual countries rather than the continent.

Professor Erasmus says this effectively slows down ratification of trade agreements and further frustrating importers and exporters as governments seek to protect their local industries.

And trade law centre policy expert Trudi Hartzenberg said although seven out of the 55-member states have ratified AfCFTA they have not yet agreed on what tariffs and rules of origin will apply.

Ms Hartzenberg said therefore it will take time before traders on the continent benefit because very complex procedures are involved in regional trade.

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