At the summit, Benin and Nigeria signed the agreement, so Eritrea is the only African state not to be part of the agreement; Since then, Eritrea has applied to join the agreement. Gabon and Equatorial Guinea also tabled their ratifications at the summit. At the time of launch, there were 27 states that had ratified the agreement.     These companies, operating in coordination with European, Japanese and Indian partners, could have a significant impact on economic growth in Africa and on Africa`s expansion as a market for foreign goods and services. As is currently believed, Prosper Africa will be a single point of contact for increasing trade and investment between U.S. and African companies. The initiative has clear links with afCFTA and, if fully implemented and adopted, could bring benefits to both players. Paul Brenton is a leading economist in the World Bank`s Trade and Regional Integration Unit (ETIRI). It focuses on analytical and operational work in the area of trade and regional integration. Maria Filipa Seara e Pereira advises the World Bank in the Trade Regional Integration Unit (ETIRI). It focuses on international trade and international development issues, including modelling, trade policy, trade distribution effects and global value chains. Yulia Vnukova advises the World Bank in the Department of Trade and Regional Integration (ETIRI). Based on more than a decade of experience, Yulia`s current work focuses on trade policy and regional integration, focusing on macroeconomic and microeconomic analyses of trade, trade and sectoral competitiveness, global value chains and private sector development in emerging countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.
The political momentum towards africa-wide free trade has strengthened. In March 2018, more than 40 countries signed the Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. After its full implementation, AfCFTA is expected to cover all 55 African countries, with a total GDP of about $2.2 trillion. This NDS reviews recent business developments in sub-Saharan Africa and assesses the potential benefits and costs of AfCFTA, as well as the challenges of its successful implementation. In addition to increasing trade flows for both existing and new products, AfCFTA has the potential to generate significant economic benefits for African countries. These benefits include increased returns from improved efficiency and productivity through better allocation of resources, increased cross-border investment flows and technology transfers. In addition to reducing import duties to ensure these benefits, African countries must remove new trade barriers by making their customs procedures more efficient, reducing their significant infrastructure gaps and improving their business climate. At the same time, policy measures should be taken to mitigate the different effects of trade liberalization on certain groups, as resources are redistributed in the economy and activities move to places where costs are relatively lower. The World Bank report, The African Continental Free Trade Area: Economic and Distributional Effects, aims to help policymakers implement policies that can maximize the potential benefits of the agreement while minimizing risks. Creating a continental market requires resolute efforts to reduce all business costs. Governments also need to develop strategies to increase the willingness of their workforce to take advantage of new opportunities. But to give AfCFTA the best chance of keeping its promises, the continent will need help and investment to modernize its infrastructure.
The new Biden administration should take note. A third question is how to conduct future trade negotiations with third parties. Faced with the consequences of a possible exit from the African Growth and Oppor