The African Continental Free Trade Agreement and Intra-African Trade - Transformative Integration or Neo-liberal Organised Hypocrisy?
Traction is being gained with African integration, especially since the conclusion of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement that established the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which was operationalised by the African Union (AU) in 2019. The question can be posed whether this monumental development represents transformative integration or continuity of the neo-liberal organised hypocrisy in Africa. The main thesis of this article is that, while the agreement illuminates the transformation of African integration on the trade front, the neo-liberal structural economic and political configurations that have been militating against free trade on the continent remain intact. However, with structural adjustments supported and driven by political will the envisaged gains of free trade are likely to be achieved. This article has relied on secondary data obtained from books, journal articles, newspaper articles, policy papers and organisational reports. The article establishes that the AfCFTA has laid a solid foundation for the transformation of intra-African integration through boosting trade on the continent.