Inside Story

Is Africa ready for a free-trade zone?

One of the world’s largest free-trade zones has come into effect in Africa.

A new year and a new start for Africa.

The world’s largest single market has opened, enabling all but one of the 55 nations to begin trading.

The African Continental Free Trade Area is a landmark deal that brings together the continent’s multitrillion-dollar economy into one bloc.

It is the culmination of years of work, negotiations and delays.

And, while only 33 of the signatories have put the deal into effect, it is already being heralded as a turning point for Africa’s economic future.

But many argue the continent lacks proper infrastructure to implement the agreement.

So, is Africa ready for the free movement of goods and people?

Presenter: Peter Dobbie


David Owiro – founder of the Africa Development Think Tank.

Paul Melly – consulting fellow at Chatham House.

Xhanti Payi – columnist at Business Day and the Financial Mail.