Economic experts want govt to sign up, explore opportunities in Africa Free Trade Agreement

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement has come into effect after 22 of the signing countries ratified the agreement.

It is the largest free trade deal that seeks to make Africa a Single Market, but Nigeria is yet to sign up.

Economic experts in the country are of the opinion that Nigeria is fighting a losing battle in this case.

On May 30, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement became a reality.

All but three of Africa’s 55 countries have signed up, but Republic of Benin, Eritrea and Nigeria—Africa’s largest economy are holding up, if they join in, a total of 1.2 billion people and $2.3 trillion in GDP would be covered in the free trade area.

Economic experts are of the opinion that the trade deal could transform Africa’s business landscape.

While Nigeria’s protectionist policy may be preventing the government from assenting to the free trade protocol, economic experts argue that the leadership must address fundamental issues that continue to impede its globalisation drive.

The need for the country to tackle its competitive and comparative advantage to grow the economy has been emphasized, which is why the country can not afford to be absent from the negotiation table, considering the large market it offers.

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