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The High-Growth Promise of an Integrated Africa

Integrated economies, powered by innovative and high-growth businesses and strong private investment, are the key to a prosperous future for Africa. Initiatives like the recently launched African Continental Free Trade Area are an important step in the right direction.

WASHINGTON, DC/PORT LOUIS – At a time when the United States, once a standard bearer of multilateralism, is embracing protectionism, Africa has taken a bold step in the opposite direction, creating the world’s largest free-trade area since the establishment of the World Trade Organization in 1995. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which came into force on May 30, includes nearly every country on the continent. And it proves, yet again, that Africa is on the move.

In recent years, Africans have been working to reclaim the narrative, highlighting their countries’ remarkable progress and the continent’s vast potential, in order to attract investment and deepen regional and global engagement. They have much to boast about.

In recent years, Africa’s average annual GDP growth has consistently outpaced the global average, and is expected to remain at least 6% until 2023. Six of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies are in Africa; for the period 2014-2050, PwC projects that Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt will remain in the top ten.