Africa free-trade vision clouded by virus and pace of talks

3 July 2020. A historic deal to smash down tariff barriers within Africa is being braked by the coronavirus pandemic and a thicket of negotiating problems. The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) was formally launched just over a year ago in a blaze of optimism. It was supposed to take operational effect on Wednesday, July 1, but the timeline has slipped, under the complications caused by the COVID-19 outbreak but also the slow pace of negotiations themselves. Read more…

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