The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) – how to make it a game changer?


Online, 17.06.2020


German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), European Center for Development Policy and Management (ECDPM)

On 30 May 2019, the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) entered into force for the 24 countries that had deposited their instruments of ratification. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has led to a postponement of the effective utilization of the trading conditions provided through the AfCFTA which was scheduled for July this year. At the same time, the increasing protectionism trends in many developed and emerging countries, which have been reinforced by the pandemic, underline the need for more continent-wide cooperation among African economies.

Once operational, the AfCFTA will be the largest free trade area worldwide. It has the long-term potential to address many overarching development challenges in Africa, including the fight against poverty and unemployment but will generate both winners and losers and could also entail important implications for both intra- and extra-continental migration trends. The AfCFTA could, furthermore, be a useful platform to boost both AU-EU trade cooperation and regional integration in Africa, yet African Union (AU) member states will have to confront several challenges on the road to realising these benefits, including public policy measures to help companies and employees to adjust to structural changes induced by the AfCFTA.

This online expert workshop discussed the challenges for stronger trade cooperation among African countries, reflecting also on the role of the EU in that context and is the first of two webinars that brought together experts from Africa and Europe to share their perspectives on the AfCFTA and its implications for AU-EU cooperation.

The event was part of a series of policy briefs and webinars ahead of the AU-EU summit, jointly organized by the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), and the European Center for Development Policy and Management (ECDPM) with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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Datum / Uhr
17.06.2020 / 14:00 - 16:00




Photo: Clara Brandi,  Senior Researcher of the Research Programme  “Transformation of Economic and Social Systems”

Clara Brandi


Phone +49 (0)228 94927-324