While the world's leading economic powers have been locked in a trade war, Africa has been streamlining cross-border trade and exploring new avenues of integration into the global economy. As one of the world’s fastest-growing regions, the outcome of these efforts will have far-reaching consequences for everyone.
In this Big Picture, Landry Signé and Ameenah Gurib-Fakimof the Global Network for Africa's Prosperity explain how the new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) is accelerating trends in growth and investment that were already underway. And Paulo Gomes, an adviser to Guinea Bissau’s Ministry of Finance, shows that there are ample investment opportunities across the region, despite what sometimes looks like underwhelming macroeconomic data.
Nonetheless, Asmita Parshotamof the South African Institute of International Affairs argues that much will need to happen at the international level for Africa's trade liberalization to pay off. African Union Commissioner Victor Harison and Mario Pezzini of the OECD show that local and national governments, as well as African business leaders, also must take significant steps to ensure the AfCTA's success. Aubrey Hrubyof the Atlantic Council points out that multinationals will need to develop an entirely new model for adapting to African markets. And Simplice A. Asonguof the African Governance and Development Institute considers the promise and perils of a new West African currency union.
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