Africa is not poor. But it continues to make missteps in how its riches both on top and under its soil are used or rather sold off. Often so-called African leaders look outside for direction instead of inwards. A case in point getting foreign multi-national corporations to explore for natural resources or letting them run the show when discoveries are made. Large amount of Africa’s food is also exported despite the high levels of hunger.
Now after 17 years of lagging Africa finally has a continent-wide free trade agreement. But turning it into a reality has been a tough ask. The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) aims to boost intra-African trade by 60% by 2034. At the moment African countries trade only about 15% of their goods and services with each other, compared to the more than 65% with European countries.
Dr Vuyo Mjimba – Acting research director of the Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA), Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Khaya Sithole – Political and economic commentator
Professor Patrick Bond – Professor of sociology, University of Johannesburg