With the upcoming Extraordinary Summit of the AU Assembly scheduled for 21 March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda, African leaders are expected to sign the final draft of the Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which is currently undergoing legal scrubbing and last-minute finalisation. This is one of the first flagship programs of the AU’s Agenda 2063 in their quest to establish a single continental market. The CFTA provides an opportunity for the 55 African states to boost intra-African trade.
The AfCFTA is characterised by a diverse range of negotiating member states, which spans from least developed to developing. Considering this economic diversity, does the CFTA strike the right balance between the different member states? What are the main objectives of the agreement, what does it entail for the continent, and what are the key expectations?