From Words to Deeds: What is Needed to Make the African Continental Free Trade Area a Success for All Africans?




12:00 Uhr (MEZ)

  • The GIGA, in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), cordially invites you to a discussion on the prospects and promises of the newly established African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Aiming to create a single market of 1.2 bn. people, with a combined GDP of US$2.5 trillion, the AfCFTA is the world’s largest free trade area and carries high hopes for boosting Africa’s intra-continental trade and economic development.

    Whether the AfCFTA can live up to this promise is far from certain, however. Key parts of the agreement are yet to be negotiated over the coming years, and significant policy efforts are still required on the part of African governments. Under what conditions will the AfCFTA strengthen prosperity on the African continent? How can external actors support this development? The input by IMF Senior Economist Reda Cherif and the following discussion will focus on the necessary steps to make the AfCFTA a success – most notably strategies to diversify African economies, tackle non-tariff barriers to trade and ensure an equitable distribution of benefits and losses from the free trade area.


    • Reda Cherif, PhD is a Senior Economist at the International Monetary Fund and co-author of the chapter “Is the African Continental Free Trade Area a Game Changer for the Continent?” of the IMF Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa 2019.

    • Tabea Lakemann is a Research Fellow at the GIGA Institute for African Affairs and works on African economic development.

    Moderation: Dr. Christian von Soest is a Lead Research Fellow at the GIGA Institute for African Affairs and Head of the GIGA Research Programme “Peace and Security”.

    Please register by 16 September 2019 by sending an e-mail to berlin-registration@giga-hamburg.de.

    A light lunch will be provided.

    The Chatham House Rule applies to this event. Unfortunately, the venue is not wheelchair accessible.


    Dr. Christian von Soest

    Lead Research Fellow / Leitung Forschungsschwerpunkt "Frieden und Sicherheit"


    GIGA Berlin, Berlin




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