n Journal of African Foreign Affairs - Can the African Continental Free Trade Agreement Foster a new Paradigm of Development Assistance within Africa?

Volume 7, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 2056-564X
  • E-ISSN: 2056-5658



The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) was signed at Kigali on 21st March 2018. The basic aim of the agreement is to 'deepen economic integration of the African continent by creating a single market with free movement of people, goods and businesses'. This development is intended to replace existing agreements of regional blocs by compressing Africa into a single market. This paper interrogates this development in the context of development assistance challenges and prospects within the continent. The overarching concern is to examine the prospects of a new paradigm in development assistance, especially in the niche areas of technical assistance, transfer of resources and goods within the continent to promote development, and combat poverty and insecurity. Can this agreement further deepen and elevate existing levels of cooperation within Africa and re-position African countries on the threshold of previous articulations in line with the philosophy of cooperation and development as enunciated in the New Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD)? The findings show that this level of relationship is possible and economically beneficial. The paper recommends a cohesive policy framework that would instigate commitment, enhance productive capacity and create a mutual beneficial platform for all African countries.

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