Hopes for an African free trade agreement moved closer to reality when negotiations were launched in Johannesburg this week, with 2017 set for the conclusion of a treaty.
But trade experts have cautioned that there is much to do before realising this ambitious target.
The negotiations for a continental free trade agreement were launched at the African Union summit this week, and come off the back of the ratification of the smaller but significant tripartite free trade agreement in Egypt earlier this month.
The tripartite agreement links three major regional blocs – the East African Community (EAC), the Southern African Development Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.
The tripartite agreement talks began in 2008 and, although the legal agreement has been concluded, further phased negotiations on protocols governing, among other things, competition, cross-border investment and intellectual property rights are still ongoing. Read more. Source| Atlantic Blackstar