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Peter Draper

Can the Continental FTA improve Africa’s poor intra-regional trade performance?

Introduction

Closer economic integration is a prescription frequently advocated for the African continent, and enthusiastically endorsed by politicians and business alike. Accordingly, the continent does not lack integration schemes, generally dubbed ‘Regional Economic Communities’ (RECs) – 14 in all. Frequently countries are members of two RECs, occasionally three (Swaziland comes to mind). If enthusiasm was a guide, all should be well on the regional economic integration front in Africa.